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Dr. Patricia Trbovich joins C-QuIPS as Research and Scholarship Lead

Patricia Trbovich has no interest in going backwards after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a quality improvement and patient safety community, we have a societal responsibility to craft what a ‘new normal’ will look like,” she said. “We don’t want to go back to the old normal which was to normalize inequity, exhaustion and burnout.”

Dr. Trbovich is uniquely positioned to help create a better system – with a background in cognitive psychology, her career has focused on understanding the motives behind people’s actions. Partnered with her research experience – including as current Badeau Family Research Chair in Patient Safety and Quality Improvement at North York General Hospital – she is able to make recommendations about how systemic changes can better shape workflows and, ultimately, healthcare.

And now, through her new role as Research and Scholarship Lead with the Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (C-QuIPS), she will have a platform to help share best practices – across professions, provinces and countries.

“I really focus on the word ‘across’ here because, as QIPS professionals, we do a lot of great work but sometimes it’s in silos,” she said. “I see one of my roles as ensuring there is cross learning and sharing and ensuring that we help people put the proper research lens on some of the great practical work they’re doing so they can bring it to the next level and we can either scale or spread the innovation if that’s the right thing to do.”

Dr. Trbovich’s path has crossed the Centre many times – in addition to formerly teaching in the C-QuIPS certificate course and VAQS program, she is an associate professor in the MSc Quality Improvement and Patient Safety program at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and has been mentored by senior Centre members Drs. Edward Etchells and Kaveh Shojania.

“Her history with C-QuIPS made her a perfect fit for this role,” said Dr. Brian Wong, C-QuIPS director. “We’re excited to have her expertise on board. She is a pre-eminent researcher in our field and the incredible amount of knowledge she brings with her in human factors and QIPS research will benefit everyone in the QIPS community.”

One of Dr. Trbovich’s first priorities will be to focus on C-QuIPS’ two key themes: health equity and health system resilience – and specifically how they connect.

“If you’re able to improve health equity and diversity, then you will in turn build a more resilient health care system – I see them as two sides of the same coin,” she said. “These two themes aren’t topics du jour that we’re going to work on for two years and then let them go and move on to something else; I see these as important areas of priority we have to include in the way we do our research so it just becomes part of our work.”

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