The Persona: Dean, School of Medicine

Position: James Johnson, Dean, School of Medicine

Location: Sunny, Florida, USA

My Background & Role

I am an anesthesiologist/anesthetist by training. I became the dean of the school of medicine in a large state funded institution XXX years ago. My scope of responsibility is the medical school.

I am accountable to the president and the Board of Trustees for both the medical school and the hospital. In my role as chief of patient safety, I also report to the CEO of the hospital. I am expected to work collaboratively with the deans of all the other health science schools, since we share many resources. Our school is dependent on state funding and we must request and lobby our state legislature for funds each year. I am expected to bring in grant funds to supplement funding as well as embark on new and innovative projects that raise the visibility and status of our school.

My Focus, What Is Of Value To Me, And How I Am Evaluated

I need to maintain a national reputation for excellence of our medical school while working within a budget that varies from year to year, depending on changing priorities within the state. As chief safety officer I must insure a safety culture, make sure our clinicians are trained, and demonstrate continuous improvement in reportable statistics like CAUTI, CLABSI, VAP, readmissions within 30 days, as well as other adverse events and also demonstrate improved patient outcomes and satisfaction.

We have incorporated some simulation activities into the preparation of students in all of our colleges and in some of our staff training in the hospital. It seems to be effective but expansion would require significant funding and I would need to justify it. Also, any new educational strategy I propose must not affect hospital staffing levels during training.

The Decision Maker: Dean, School of Medicine

Typical value domains of those who function in the role of dean are

  • Educational Effectiveness –Simulation can accomplish what other interventions did not. (Mary’s case: Consultants recommended other educational strategies which were implemented on other units of the hospital. They did not experience the reduction in safety incidents that was achieved in the ED with simulation.)
  • Educational Efficiency – Simulation can reduce the time it takes to achieve an educational outcome.
  • Resource Management –
  • Patient Safety – Simulation can reduce the number of patient safety events.
  • Quality of Care – When a school produces graduates who are known for delivering a high quality of care, the status of the school is enhanced. When a hospital is recognized for delivering high quality care, consumers will choose that hospital (and the health care providers who are associated with that hospital) for their care.
  • Scholarship/Research – There is a great deal of interest in simulation research, especially its relationship to patient outcomes. Results are reported in prestigious journals and in public media. Well executed research elevates the status of an institution.

Strategic Approach/Messaging to the Dean

  • Use your knowledge of the dean and the institution to customize your message and select the metrics that indicate how the resources needed for the project will be offset by its benefits/outcomes.
  • Review the case-based scenarios on the website [insert link] to identify one or more that is similar to yours. Customize and use it as a successful example.
  • Select the value domains that you believe are a match for those of the dean and rank order them. Review the messages associated with those value domains.
  • Begin with how your proposal aligns with the mission of the institution and any short or long terms goals you are aware of.
  • If the dean is not familiar with the benefits of simulation, integrate relevant advantages of simulation into your proposal. Consider selecting some seminal articles from the resource list [insert link] and providing copies as supplemental material.
  • If you intend to apply for grant funds to support all or part of your proposal, include information about the grant, and include the time and resources you will need to prepare it.
  • Review the presentations and PowerPoints [provide link to that section] to see if any of them might help you prepare your own presentation.