Nursing Research Conference Focuses on Patient Safety and Outcomes

"The Link Between Patient Safety and Patient Outcomes" will be addressed in the 2008 Nursing Research Conference, sponsored by The Center for Health and Learning, an educational partnership between Piedmont Healthcare and Mercer University. The conference is designed to enhance participant awareness of common patient safety issues and nursing interventions that promote positive patient outcomes.

The conference will include lectures, interactive and panel discussions, and poster presentations. Keynote speakers will be Barbara J. Bates, R.N., B.S.N., surgical services manager at Scripps Encinitas Memorial Hospital in San Diego, Calif., and Susan Fuller, R.N., C.P.S.O., director of quality and patient safety at Piedmont Fayette Hospital in Fayette, Ga. Participating panelists will be Paige M. Gannon, R.N., B.S.N., O.N.C., C.W.O.C.N., Skin Integrity nurse clinician and Nurse Practice Council chair, Piedmont Hospital - Division of Nursing; Leigh Hamby, M.D., M.H.A., executive vice president and chief quality officer, Piedmont Healthcare; Jean Pruitt, R.N., M.N., C.C.R.N., C.N.R.N., F.N.P., development coordinator Neurosciences, Neuroscience Services, Piedmont Hospital; Tony Smith, R.N., M.S.N., director of Nursing, Orthopaedic Service, Piedmont Hospital, and keynote speaker Susan Fuller.

Scheduled for 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, April 11, the program will be held in the Rich Auditorium of Piedmont Hospital, 1968 Peachtree Road, N.W.  Registration is $75 per person for the general public, $40 for Mercer faculty and Piedmont employees and $25 for nursing students. For information on the conference, contact Judy Mosteller at (678) 547-6793 or, and on the abstract/poster presentation, contact Dare Domico at

Barbara Bates has 27 years of nursing experience both in clinical practice and in health care management. She focuses on creating a culture of safety in the complexity of the hospital environment. Her innovative strategy for establishing a “No Interruption Zone” for the retrieval of medications from a Pyxis Machine has become a nationally recognized presentation. She also designed and implemented the first eHospital Program in the country and was the leader of a hospital-wide safety initiative program at Senetara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk, Va. In addition to serving in numerous management positions, including critical care, medical surgical and orthopedics, she has worked as a Clinical Consultant for Hewlett Packard with technical sales experience and strategic competitive market analysis.
Susan Fuller has served as a registered nurse in the state of Georgia for more than 30 years. As the director of Quality/Patient Safety at Piedmont Fayette Hospital, she oversees the quality improvement teams that are responsible for decreasing inpatient mortality, for implementing patient safety practices to minimize or eliminate potential for patient harm, and for ensuring compliance with applicable state and regulatory agencies.  In 2007, she earned the Certified Patient Safety Officer distinction offered by the Board of Healthcare Safety Management. 

Over her career, Fuller has worked as a clinical level IV Trauma nurse, level IV Cardiac Surgery nurse, Neonatal ICU nurse, Pediatric Emergency level IV nurse, Hospice nurse and an Infection Control practitioner.  In addition, she has participated on various professional nursing advisory councils and has received several awards and clinical recognitions for outstanding management and clinical performance.

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