Inpatient Neurology Quality Improvement

Welcome from the Associate PIL for Inpatient Neurology

Zachary Threlkeld, MD
Associate Physician Improvement Leader, Inpatient Neurology

Quality, safety, and equity in inpatient neurology enjoy robust support, engagement, and multidisciplinary collaboration. We aim to be at the forefront of innovations in these domains, and the rich culture of quality improvement within Stanford Neurology has led inpatient neurology to be a cradle for development of novel projects and initiatives—many of which have subsequently been disseminated across the institution and been published in national journals. Stanford Neurology faculty, trainees, and leadership evince a tenacious drive to improve, and I believe this striving continually drives our inpatient divisions to set the national standard for high-quality, cutting-edge patient care.

Unit-Based Medical Director / Patient Care Manager (UBMD/PCM) Program

As a leader in inpatient quality improvement in Neurology and Stanford Health Care more broadly, Dr. Karen Hirsch (Neurocritical Care Division Chief) serves as Co-Director of the UBMD/PCM program alongside Dr. Lisa Shieh of Hospital Medicine. The UBMD/PCM infrastructure supports partnership between physician and nursing leadership at the unit level throughout Stanford Health Care, which in turn drives innovations in quality and safety at the unit level—by those leaders most familiar with the needs of the patients for whom they regularly care. Initially conceived by Dr. Joe Hopkins, the UBMD/PCM program has grown over decades and constitutes a key component of inpatient operations and quality improvement.  

Karen Hirsch, MD
Co-Director of UBMD/PCM Program

L4 Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit

Zachary Threlkeld, MD
Unit-Based Medical Director

Robert Dodd, MD PhD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery

Anita Musafar, MPH RN CCRN-K SCRN
Patient Care Manager

The L4 Neuroscience ICU is a state-of-the-art 20-bed intensive care unit serving neurocritically ill patients. Neurocritical Care and Neurosurgery multidisciplinary teams collaborate within L4 to provide cutting-edge clinical care and lead innovative work in quality improvement and safety. Some exemplary current and past projects are listed below.

L5 Neurology/Stroke/Epilepsy Unit

Neil Schwartz, MD PhD
Unit-Based Medical Director

Victor Tamayo, MSN RN CNRN
Patient Care Manager

The L5 unit is a 20-bed acute care unit caring for a diverse range of patients with neurologic disease. L5 comprises the Stroke Unit, Neurohospitalist Unit, and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, functioning collaboratively to provide multidisciplinary sub-specialty neurologic care. Coupled with the Stanford Stroke Program, the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, and the Neurohospitalist Division, L5 leads numerous quality improvement and safety projects each year, consistently striving to deliver the best possible and most advanced patient care.

Neurocritical Care Division

Karen Hirsch, MD
Chief, Division of Neurocritical Care


Zachary Threlkeld, MD
Unit-Based Medical Director, Associate PIL for Inpatient Neurology

Co-Lead APP

Michelle Robinson, MSN AGACNP-BC CCRN
Co-Lead APP


The Stanford Neurocritical Care (NCC) Division is committed to quality improvement as a key component of our academic mission to provide excellent clinical care and improve patient outcomes. Numerous trainees, faculty, and advance practice providers (APPs) in the NCC Division are leaders in quality improvement work. Over 50% of our faculty have led an improvement team as part of training in the Clinical Effectiveness Leadership Training (CELT) and Realizing Improvement through Team Empowerment (RITE) courses. Over 75% of NCC APPs have led improvement projects through the Professional Excellence Program supported by the SHC Center for Advance Practice.

Neurohospitalist Division

Katie Kvam, MD
Chief, Neurohospitalist Division

Carl Gold, MD MS
Vice Chair for Quality, Safety, and Experience; Physician Improvement Leader

Shefali Dujari, MD
Director of Quality for Neurology at Stanford Healthcare Tri-Valley

The Stanford Neurohospitalist Division is deeply committed to continuously improving the quality of care for our patients. All of our faculty and fellows are engaged in quality improvement, most have received additional faculty development training and many serve in local and national quality leadership roles.

Stanford Stroke Center and Comprehensive Stroke Program

Greg Albers, MD
Director, Stanford Stroke Center

Christina Mijalski, MD
Director, Stanford Telestroke Program

Michelle Woodfall, MS CNS
Stroke Program Director

Nicole Burnham, MSN RN
Stroke Program Manager

Luci Parker, MS BSN RN
Stroke Program Quality Specialist

Richard Reagin, BSN SCRN
Stroke Program Coordinator

The Stanford Stroke Center and Comprehensive Stroke Program is internationally recognized for its leadership in stroke treatment. As the nation’s first Comprehensive Stroke Center certified by the Joint Commission, the program has long been a vanguard of stroke quality improvement work and excellence in patient care. Numerous Stroke Center faculty, trainees, and staff have led and coached projects as part of the Clinical Effectiveness Leadership Training (CELT) and Realizing Improvement through Team Empowerment (RITE) courses. Some exemplary projects include:

Stanford Comprehensive Epilepsy Program

Robert Fisher, MD, PHD
Director of Comprehensive Epilepsy Program

Kimford J. Meador, MD
Director of the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit