Quality & Safety

Quality & Safety Reporting at UTMB Health

QualitySafety

Patients and families faced with making choices and decisions about health care often have many questions and concerns about the quality of care they will receive from a specific physician or at a particular hospital.

To help you feel confident and informed in choosing UTMB Health as your health care provider, we publicly share the following reports on our quality and safety performance, information on the many ways you can partner in your care, and our continual efforts to assure we are providing the very best patient care.

Click for more information about the program and our reports.

Message from the Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Gulshan SharmaAt UTMB Health, we are committed to providing the highest quality and safest care possible for our patients. Whether you visit us at one of our clinics or you stay in one of our hospitals, we will care for you the same way we would want the most cherished of our loved ones to be treated—with excellent and compassionate care, with respect, and with your safety and well-being our number one priority.

We are dedicated to continually improving the care we deliver to assure our patients achieve optimal health outcomes and that they are always satisfied with their patient care experience. We believe you, the patient, are the most important member of the care team, and we want to provide you with the information and support you need so that you feel well-informed and confident about participating in all decisions about your care.

At UTMB, we have taken major steps to build a system of care that ensures timely, accurate, safe and effective treatments. We have launched initiatives to eliminate known unnecessary testing and healthcare hazards, including hospital-acquired infections, falls and pressure ulcers. We take reporting areas of concern within our system seriously and are committed to addressing and resolving findings in an expeditious manner.

At UTMB Health, teamwork and accountability are the most essential components of safe practice. We provide our more than  4,000 Health System employees and 982 medical staff with specialized training and with tools designed to help keep our patients safer. Additionally, the care we provide is supported by the latest, evidence-based research, the most current medical knowledge and advanced state-of-the-art technology utilized by our highly skilled and experienced staff.

We know you have choices for your health care provider. Thank you for choosing UTMB Health.

Gulshan Sharma, MD, MPH, FCCP
Vice President, Chief Medical and Clinical Innovation Officer in the UTMB Health System
Sealy & Smith Distinguished Chair in Internal Medicine
Professor and Director, Division of Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
The University of Texas Medical Branch

Among other duties, the chief medical officer provides leadership for:

  • Medical Staff Affairs;
  • Programs to promote the integrity of faculty conduct within the UTMB Health System;
  • Tactics to maintain and improve clinical care value, quality, safety and to ensure regulatory compliance;
  • UTMB infection control & epidemiology programs;
  • Patient health education;
  • System-wide efforts to support and develop community-engaged population health programs that provide culturally appropriate, patient-centered care; and serves as the  
  • Institutional Emergency Preparedness Officer - Emergency Management and Life Safety Committee; Health System Quality Council; Institutional Safety and Security Executive Committee

Dr. Gulshan is also the Health System clinical innovation officer, leading creative efforts to evaluate and implement new therapies/techniques to safely improve and enhance patient care.

Dr. Sharma completed his medical school training in India and came to the United States in 1995 to an externship at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) which allowed him to complete his medical degree. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan and stayed an additional year as a chief resident.

For his pulmonary and critical care medicine fellowship, he moved to the East Coast and joined Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. Always interested in outcomes research, he was fortunate to benefit from good mentoring, which enabled him to hone his skills and ultimately earn a Master’s degree in Public Health at Yale University while completing his fellowship training.

In 2004, he and his wife, along with two small children, decided to return to the Houston area where he joined UTMB’s Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care as an assistant professor. During his tenure at UTMB, he has served as medical director of the MICU/CCU and the Texas Department of Correctional Justice’s Hospital Galveston ICU; he is also the program director for the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program. Dr. Sharma is a Sealy and Smith Distinguished Chair in the Department of Internal Medicine and Professor & Director, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine.

In 2014, he was appointed Associate Chief Medical Officer, where his focus was on quality, patient safety and assisting with the transformation to Version 2.0 Medicine—from "fee-for-service" to "value-based care." He was also the physician champion on a regional collaborative effort to reduce readmissions and create model bundle payments for the 16-county “Region 2” under the Texas 1115 Medicaid Transformation Waiver Demonstration Project.

His research interests include health services, quality and outcomes. He received a K-08 Career Development Award from the NIH and serves as co-investigator on PCORI and NIH grants. Dr. Sharma has also received Systems Engineering Grants from the University of Texas System for Health IT integrations and improving the care of patients with COPD. His work on these projects led UTMB to become the first COPD Center of Excellence in Texas as certified by The Joint Commission, a certification which it has maintained since 2015. Nationally, he is involved with the COPD Foundation® in its newly launched PRAXIS® platform, which is used to share best practices to improve care of patients with COPD across the care continuum. His work is published in leading journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of American Medical Association and JAMA Internal Medicine (formerly Archives of Internal Medicine).

In December 2016, he was appointed Vice President & Chief Medical and Clinical Innovation Officer at UTMB Health. In this role, Dr. Sharma led UTMB’s initiative to improve quality and patient safety as measured by Vizient, the largest member-driven, health care performance improvement company in the country. In 2016, UTMB ranked No. 76 out of 107 academic medical centers nationally in the Vizient Quality and Accountability Study. Following the launch of the initiative, UTMB achieved a five-star rating for three consecutive years, ranking No. 9 in 2017, No. 4 in 2018 and No. 9 in 2019. In 2017, he spearheaded a High Value Practicing Organization (HVPO) initiative focused on five stewardship pillars: antibiotics stewardship, lab stewardship, imaging stewardship, blood management and opioids stewardship. The goal of the HVPO program is to reduce unnecessary tests and treatments while teaching concepts of value-based care to healthcare providers.