ABSTRACT: Quality improvement skills for pediatric residents: from lecture to implementation and sustainability
Quality improvement (QI) skills are relevant to efforts to improve the health care system. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) program requirements call for resident participation in local and institutional QI efforts, and the move to outcomes-based accreditation is resulting in greater focus on the resulting learning and clinical outcomes. Many programs have enhanced practice-based learning and improvement (PBLI) and systems based practice (SBP) curricula, although efforts to actively involve residents in QI activities appear to be lagging. Using information from the extensive experience of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, we offer recommendations for how to create meaningful QI experiences for residents meet ACGME requirements and the expectations of the Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) process. Resident involvement in QI requires a multipronged approach that overcomes barriers and limitations that have frustrated earlier efforts to move this education from lectures to immersion experiences at the bedside and in the clinic. We present 5 dimensions of effective programs that facilitate active resident participation in improvement work and enhance their QI skills: 1) providing curricula and education models that ground residents in QI principles; 2) ensuring faculty development to prepare physicians for their role in teaching QI and demonstrating it in day-to-day practice; 3) ensuring all residents receive meaningful QI education and practical exposure to improvement projects; 4) overcoming time and other constraints to allow residents to apply their newly developed QI skills; and 5) assessing the effect of exposure to QI on resident competence and project outcomes.