Improving the patient experience: starting the journey
In this article, Dr Gareth McKeeman explains how his role in producing resources for Patient Safety Awareness Week 2020 developed into a wider-reaching project to improve communication between patients and pathologists and the experience of patients. Dr McKeeman highlights how patient experience is integral to patient safety.
Listen to our conversation between consultant clinical scientist Dr Gareth McKeeman and Liz Doran, a patient undergoing treatment for breast cancer, about the ways in which pathologists and patients can learn from each other to improve patient safety in the workplace.
Dr Gareth McKeeman undertook a Bachelor of Science (Hon, Biomedical Science) in 1999 (Queen’s University Belfast) before going on to complete a PhD (Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Royal Victoria Hospital, Queen’s University Belfast) in 2003 – during which time he developed a novel radioimmunoassay for soluble VEGF receptor-1 and assessed the use of this for the earlier detection of progression to pre-eclampsia.
From 2003–2007 Dr McKeeman was a Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast and lab manager for large multi-centred research trial investigation into the use of vitamins to reduce pre-eclampsia in a diabetic population (DAPIT). He additionally set up a GC-MS service for assessment of urinary isoprostanes.
In 2007, he took up a trainee clinical scientist post (Clinical Biochemistry) within Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. During this time, he completed a MSc (Clinical Biochemistry with Molecular Biology) and subsequently completed FRCPath during senior and principal clinical scientist posts within Clinical Biochemistry. He commenced his current position as consultant clinical scientist, Clinical Biochemistry, BHSCT in 2015.
Dr McKeeman has oversight over General Automation Core Laboratory across three hospital sites within the Trust and the Regional Immunoproteins Laboratory. He has a keen interest in improving pre-analytical quality and overall quality improvement in general. He is currently the regional audit chair for the NI region and the RCPath Patient Safety representative for the regional council.