For his successful collaborative work at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics and 18-plus years of commitment to improving patient care, Michael Miller, MD, FACEP, was named 2014 Emergency Department Director of the Year at a May 21, 2014, ceremony in Dallas. Presented by Blue Jay Consulting and the Emergency Medicine Foundation, the award is given to an ED director who demonstrates collaborative relationships with nursing and ancillary departments to implement and improve operational and clinical standards based on evidence-based practice.
Dr. Miller captured the fifth annual award because of several initiatives he has championed, including his strategies to improve door-to-balloon times for ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), elevated sepsis recognition with an electronic medical record–based screening strategy, improved standard ED physician-nurse communications, and standardized vasoactive drug dosing at UI Healthcare.
The 46-year-old graduate of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine also spearheaded Super Triage, a process to improve hospital flow and provider satisfaction of patients being admitted.
In the past six months, the emergency department’s “patients left without being seen” percentage has dropped from 3 percent to 0.2, and patient satisfaction survey results have increased from the 30th percentile among similar hospitals to the 84th. The length of stay for all emergency department visitors has decreased from 3.5 hours to 3.0 in the same time frame.
Dr. Miller is the chief safety officer for the health system and one of the hospital’s associate chief medical officers. He also directs the administrative curriculum for EM residents, teaching them how to function as physician administrators in their own emergency departments.
“Lasting change in a complex health care system requires building relationships and teamwork across historic silos to achieve success,” Dr. Miller said. “It is important to maintain optimism in the power of creating a learning environment.”