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BWFH Director named Co-Director of Harvard Leadership Program

Kae Santos

Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital’s Director of Service Excellence and Performance Improvement Kae Santos was recently named Co-Director of Harvard Medical School’s Safety, Quality, Informatics and Leadership Program (SQIL). SQIL is a one-year certificate program for healthcare providers and administrative leaders who are interested in learning from the world’s leading authorities in safety, quality, medical informatics and health leadership. The program consists of three in-person, four-day workshops, live interactive webinars, pre-recorded lectures and peer collaboration and attracts participants from across the globe.

Santos has been involved with SQIL since its inception in 2015. “Initially they were looking for help from the Performance Improvement team in building some of the online content,” she says of her early involvement. “I therefore had the opportunity to record a few sessions on process improvement fundamentals, which have since been expanded and used in other Harvard Medical School programs.”

As the program has grown, so has Santos’ role within the organization. In addition to creating some of the process improvement content, she took on the role of faculty reviewer when the program first launched. “Every year, I have been given more responsibility as a faculty reviewer. Last year, I was named the Capstone Director, in charge of recruiting faculty reviewers and interfacing with the students throughout the course of their capstone project,” she explains.

This past fall, she was invited to the Shanghai workshop where she taught several sessions including one on patient and family engagement in improvement work. For Santos, it was a unique opportunity to share BWFH’s best practices globally, as well as discover how things are done differently in other parts of the world. “It was really interesting to explore the role that families play in patient care in different countries,” she says. “In the United States, we are very focused on HIPAA and asking for permission to talk to families about the patient’s care. In China and other parts of Asia, families provide care alongside clinicians while patients are in the hospital and privacy is less of a concern.”

Now, as Co-Director of the program, she looks forward to getting even more involved. “In addition to taking on more teaching and administrative responsibilities, I also have the opportunity to improve the program beyond where it is now, which is very exciting,” she says. “I work with three amazing Co-Directors, all of whom have more clinical and research backgrounds. I look forward to sharing my process improvement and operational skill set with this group to help students better identify change projects and bring them successfully to implementation.”

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