Lane named patient safety officer

Michael Lane, MD, has been named the patient safety officer for the Department of Medicine. The position is new for the department, and in this role, Lane will oversee and coordinate safety efforts to help improve health-care outcomes.


Lane, an assistant professor of medicine and an infectious diseases physician, has special expertise and training in patient safety and quality improvement. He is a former recipient of the Goldfarb Patient Safety and Quality Fellowship at the School of Medicine and a Comparative Effectiveness Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health.

On a national level, there is a great emphasis on reducing medical errors and other complications that can occur in health-care settings. Drug interactions and other medication errors, infections and miscommunication among staff all can contribute to adverse outcomes for patients. Lane will work to develop new procedures and initiatives to ensure patients get the best care possible.

“Michael’s training and expertise will be a real asset to the department as we move forward to optimize the culture of patient safety and improve the care our patients receive,” says Victoria Fraser, MD, the Adolphus Busch Professor of Medicine and head of the Department of Medicine.

Lane will be responsible for patient safety initiatives for hospitalized patients and those visiting Washington University physicians on an outpatient basis. He’ll work with all the divisions within the Department of Medicine and with hospital leaders to address specific concerns and foster patient-safety and quality-improvement initiatives.

Lane also will work closely with Jeffrey Crippin, MD, vice chair for clinical affairs, as well as with faculty physicians, fellows and medical residents to review patient safety issues and to develop and optimize new systems to improve safety, especially for patients with complex medical problems. He’ll also supervise development of a patient-safety and quality-improvement curriculum for medical residents.

“We already provide great care, but we can continue to develop and implement new processes for delivering care so that our patients are safer and their care is even better,” Lane says. “These initiatives also will help to ensure that the next generation of physicians receives the training necessary to provide the best care possible for their patients.”

Lane’s clinical and research interests focus on the factors that increase the risk of infections in prosthetic joints and the potentially dangerous drug interactions that can occur when patients on Warfarin, a blood thinner, take certain antibiotics. In some cases, the combination can cause internal bleeding.

Lane received his medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview. After completing an infectious diseases fellowship at the School of Medicine, Lane joined the faculty in 2010.