Nursing Research Conference Focuses on Patient Safety and Outcomes


ATLANTA – “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 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 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.

About The Center for Health and Learning:
In June 2005, Piedmont Healthcare and Mercer University announced a partnership that will create a number of joint initiatives, including nursing, pharmacy, research and other medical and allied health education programs as part of a Center for Health and Learning. Both institutions have identified potential areas of collaboration. Piedmont Healthcare aims to enhance its teaching environment and expand on-campus research that is focused on outcomes and improved patient care. Piedmont also seeks increased access to students and potential employees in nursing, pharmacy and other allied health fields. Long-term, Piedmont hopes to establish unique hospital/university integrated programs. Mercer seeks to establish a more vigorous research presence and to deepen program offerings in nursing and pharmacy. Mercer also expects to broaden its medical residency program. In addition, Mercer aims to broaden its non-clinical education programs, such as chaplaincy, health management and health law.

About Piedmont Healthcare:
Piedmont Healthcare (PHC), a not-for-profit organization, is the parent company of Piedmont Hospital, a 481-bed acute tertiary care facility in the north Atlanta community of Buckhead. Piedmont Hospital offers all major medical, surgical and diagnostic services, and is a recipient of the 2007and 2006 Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient SafetyTM and Best in Atlanta for Overall Cardiac Care and Cardiac Surgery (2008)from HealthGrades (a leading healthcare ratings company) and one of the nation’s Most Wired hospitals for four consecutive years in the 100 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study. PHC also includes Piedmont Fayette Hospital, a 143-bed, acute-care community hospital in Fayetteville; Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, a 42-bed community hospital in Jasper; Piedmont Newnan Hospital, a 143-bed, acute-care community hospital in Newnan; the Piedmont Heart Institute, an integrated cardiovascular healthcare delivery system that combines premier cardiovascular physicians with the prestigious Fuqua Heart Center of Atlanta; the Piedmont Hospital Foundation, the philanthropic entity for private fundraising initiatives; the Piedmont Physicians Group, with more than 75 primary care physicians in 24 offices throughout metro Atlanta; and the Piedmont Clinic, a 567-member physician network. For more information, visit

About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy and health sciences, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial Health University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit