Qual Saf Health Care 18:278-282 doi:10.1136/qshc.2008.028720
  • Education and training

An educational improvement project to track patient encounters: toward a more complete understanding of third-year medical students’ experiences

  1. K G Hoffman,
  2. M D Griggs,
  3. C A Kerber,
  4. M Wakefield,
  5. E Garrett,
  6. C Kersten,
  7. M C Hosokawa,
  8. L A Headrick
  1. University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine, Columbia, Missouri, USA
  1. Dr K G Hoffman, Offices of Medical Education, MA213 Medical Science Building, Columbia, MO 65212, USA; hoffmank{at}
  • Accepted 13 April 2009


Background: At the University of Missouri School of Medicine (MUSOM), “commitment to improving quality and safety in healthcare” is one of eight key characteristics set as goals for our graduates. As educators, we have modelled our commitment to continuous improvement in the educational experiences through the creation of a method to monitor and analyse patient encounters in the third year of medical school. This educational improvement project allowed course directors to (1) confirm adequate clinical exposure, (2) obtain prompt information on student experiences, (3) adjust individual student rotations to meet requirements and (4) ascertain the range of clinical experiences available to students.

Discussion: Data illustrate high levels of use and satisfaction with the educational innovation. We are in our second year using the new Patient Log (PLOG) process and are now considering expanding the use of PLOG into the fourth year of medical school.


  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Ethical approval granted by University of Missouri Health Sciences Institutional Review Board (project no 1078237).