Brent James, MD, MStat

Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine; Senior Advisor, Health Catalyst

Brent James is known internationally for his work in clinical quality improvement, patient safety, and the infrastructure that underlies successful improvement efforts, such as culture change, data systems, payment methods, and management roles. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine), and participated in many of that organization’s seminal works on quality and patient safety. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physician Executives. He holds faculty appointments at several universities:

  •   Clinical Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine (Medicine)
  •   Visiting Lecturer, Harvard School of Public Health (Health Policy and Management)
  •   Adjunct Professor, University of Utah David Eccles School of Business
  •   Adjunct Professor, University of Utah School of Medicine (Family Medicine; Biomedical Informatics)

Dr. James is presently a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Boston, MA; a Senior Advisor at the Leavitt Group, Salt Lake City, UT; and a Senior Advisor at Health Catalyst, Salt Lake City, UT. He was formerly Chief Quality Officer, and Executive Director, Institute for Healthcare Delivery Research at Intermountain Healthcare, based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Speaker Sessions

6 – Designing Effective Clinical Measurement: Recognizing and Correcting Common Problems (Clinical, Analyst; Course Level-Intermediate)

Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the father of quality improvement theory, famously (and routinely) noted that “aim defines the system.” That is especially true for clinical measurement. This session will examine a series of principles that underlie effective clinical measurement. It will start with the idea of “transparency” as defined by the Institute of Medicine, and discuss how different functional levels within which transparency plays a critical role for healthcare delivery organizations. The presentation will address proven methods to select appropriate subsets of measures, among a functional infinity of possible metrics.

Dr. Brent James will also discuss how the idea of signal versus noise levels in clinical measurement, including methods to assess and mitigate noise (technically, “gauge theory” and Measurement System Evaluation). These concepts will be brought together in the form of nested measurement systems, where data is captured in real-time at the front line then “rolls up” through an organization (nested dashboards). This, in turn, will support “drill down” activities that can track findings in higher order reports back down to actual work execution. The course is intended for people who already have highly developed measurement and analysis skills and experience.