Patient Safety Research Conducted by Katherine Jones, PT, PhD

In 2004, Katherine Jones, PT, PhD, completed her doctoral training through the Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area program at UNMC with a concentration in health services research. The theme of Dr. Jones’s work is to translate research into structures and processes that improve patient safety and quality of care in rural communities.

Dr. Jones is the principal investigator for two AHRQ-funded Partnerships in Implementing Patient Safety (PIPS) grants: CAPTURE Falls--Collaboration and Proactive Teamwork Used to Reduce Falls from 2012 – 2014 and Implementing a Program of Patient Safety in Small Rural Hospitals from 2005 – 2007. The purpose of the CAPTURE Falls project is to decrease the risk of falls for older adults treated in Critical Access Hospitals. This project intends to change the paradigm for fall risk reduction from a nursing-centric goal to an organizational goal achieved through safety culture, teamwork, and sensemaking.

This work is funded by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to implement and evaluate the impact of TeamSTEPPS — an evidence-based team training program — on the culture of safety in 52 Nebraska Critical Access Hospitals. A key finding of this evaluation is that adoption of team skills positively impacts perceptions of leadership and organizational learning in addition to perceptions of teamwork.

In addition, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has funded work to assess the quality of acute stroke treatment and stroke rehabilitation in Nebraska hospitals. These assessments are integral to the work of the Nebraska Stroke Advisory Council, which seeks to improve systems of stroke care in Nebraska.

Dr. Jones completed the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Patient Safety Officer Development Program. She is a TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer who has trained over 300 other Master Trainers from hospitals in Nebraska, Iowa, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Oregon. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, AcademyHealth, the Society for Simulation in Health Care, and a board member of the Nebraska Coalition for Patient Safety and the Nebraska Stroke Advisory Council. She has disseminated her work through peer-reviewed articles and presentations at regional or national conferences. She received a Patient Safety Leader in Action Award from the Texas Medical Institute of Technology in 2006 and the Rural Health Achievement in Excellence Award from the Nebraska Rural Health Association in 2010.