Leadership Announcement – Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Office

Rachel Bardowell, MD and Caroline Kahle, MD (l-r)

The Department of Medicine is pleased to announce new leadership roles in the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Office. The safety and quality infrastructure is evolving to have specific teams focus on inpatient and ambulatory settings and also expand patient experience efforts.

Dr. Rachel Bardowell will join the Office of the Vice Chair for Patient Safety and Quality Improvement as the Associate Vice Chair of Inpatient Medicine. In this role, she will help advance the quality of care provided on the inpatient medicine services at Barnes-Jewish Hospital (BJH).

Dr. Caroline Kahle will join the Office of the Vice Chair as the Chief Patient Experience Officer. She will continue to work closely with our inpatient and ambulatory groups to enhance communication and patient experience. There will be additional leadership announcements from the Office of the Vice Chair of Safety and Quality as we expand Safety and Quality activities in the Department.

Dr. Bardowell is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine. She received her BS in Neuroscience and MD from the University of Miami, where she was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. Dr. Bardowell completed her Internal Medicine Residency Training at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and joined the faculty in the Division of Hospital Medicine in 2012. She has been a dedicated member of the teaching faculty and was selected as one of the teaching faculty of the year by the residents in 2019. Rachel is now core faculty of the residency program. She has been very successful leading and working in multidisciplinary groups, previously receiving a Friends of Nursing award. In 2017, Dr. Bardowell became Patient Safety Officer for the Division of Hospital Medicine and under her leadership, faculty involvement and event reporting have increased every year. She now serves as Associate Chief for Quality and Safety in the Division of Hospital Medicine. She has been an active member of the Operations Executive Council and engaged in a number of hospital patient safety and quality improvement efforts, including reducing readmissions, preventing CAUTI, and improving medication safety.

Dr. Kahle is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine. She received her medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. She joined the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) as an Academic Hospitalist in the Division of Hospital Medicine in 2010. She has served in numerous leadership roles in the Department of Medicine and at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and currently serves as the Vice Chief for Patient Care for the Division of Hospital Medicine. Dr. Kahle is well known for her outstanding skills communicating with patients and excellent role-modeling of exceptional patient experience for residents and students. She is also recognized for her tireless dedication to the care of hospitalized patients. She began working with the BJH Patient Experience team in 2018, serving as the Physician leader of the Patient Experience physician-nurse dyad, with a focus specifically on improving physician to patient and physician to physician communication across the institution. Caroline was instrumental in the development and roll out of the CONNECT Communication module which has been implemented across BJC. She is currently working on a second CONNECT Communication module to expand patient experience training for physicians. In addition, Dr. Kahle serves as the Chair of the Ethics Committee for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and she co-directs the Medicine Triage Attending Service for WUSM/BJH. As Chief Patient Experience Officer, Dr. Kahle will work closely with leaders in the Department, the School of Medicine, and BJH to enhance patient experience at WUSM and BJH.

Please join me in congratulating Drs. Bardowell and Kahle on their new leadership roles.