Duke Health Team Earns Award for Airway Initiative

During this year’s Duke Health Quality and Safety Conference, a Duke Health team*, including Duke Anesthesiology’s Brad Taicher, DO, MBA, received the 2023 Karcher Patient Safety Award for their initiative, “Endotracheal Excellence: Standardizing Documentation to Drive Quality in Airway Rescue Procedures Across the Health System.”

​Out-of-operating room endotracheal intubation is a time-sensitive, life-saving procedure performed in various clinical units and by a variety of clinicians across the Duke University Health System (DUHS). Given its critical nature, intubation practice should be understood, monitored and continuously improved to achieve best outcomes and mitigate morbidity and mortality.

This airway initiative brought together stakeholders from anesthesiology, three different intensive care units, otolaryngology, head and neck surgery, the emergency department, respiratory therapy, and others to begin to standardize how endotracheal intubation is documented and recorded across Duke Health. 

“While not simple to generate buy-in from numerous different teams with long embedded electronic medical records workflows, this multidisciplinary initiative was critical to create the infrastructure that will allow us to engage in process improvement around endotracheal intubation practices and outcomes, not just within a unit, but across our health system,” says Taicher, associate professor of anesthesiology. “Numerous projects in both adults and pediatrics will now build upon this work to optimize patient care surrounding the need for endotracheal intubation, especially when unanticipated difficulty arises.”

The annual Duke Health Quality and Safety Conference celebrates work in quality improvement, safety and teamwork across the Duke University Health System. Made possible by a grateful patient donation and a dedicated team of conference planners, committee members, and patient and staff volunteers, the conference brings together hundreds of Duke Health employees to recognize, evaluate, learn, and advance health together.

*Emily Greenwald, MD, Tim Crittenden, RN, MMCi, Cheryn Johnson, Sameer Kamath, MD, MBBS, Janet Lee, MD, Palen Mallory, MD, William Adams, MD, Michelle DeRusso, MD, Alex Rotta, MD, Govind Krishnan, MD, Brad Taicher, DO, MBA, and Emily Sterrett, MD, MS