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It’s time to focus on teaching the teachers for healthcare improvement
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  1. David P Stevens,
  2. Mark E Splaine
  1. Dartmouth Medical School, Quality Literature Program, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA
  1. Dr David P Stevens, Quality Literature Program, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, 30 Lafayette Street, Lebanon, NH 03766, USA; david.p.stevens{at}dartmouth.edu

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It’s time to focus on teaching the teachers for healthcare improvement. The ability to improve healthcare is now an essential part of the training for all health professionals,1 and patients increasingly expect a commitment to improvement as a part of our professional work.2 Not only will accelerating the systematic development of such an academic cadre serve to expand the abilities of new health professionals, but also this expanded faculty should advance the scholarship of improvement of patient care and health systems.

POTENTIAL DRIVERS AND ACCELERATORS OF PROGRAMME DEVELOPMENT

Healthcare improvement competencies have become an integral part of professional development and are driven by changes both in healthcare and in the disciplines that specifically address improvement. First, ever more scarce resources demand greater efficiency and reduction of waste in both education and clinical care. Second, emerging professional competencies for all physicians include healthcare improvement and knowledge of effective systems. A prominent example is the development of the Six General Competencies for accreditation and certification of all physicians in the US3 with two of the six competencies being Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, and Systems-Based Practice. All specialties of medicine in the US are now required to define these competencies for their respective trainees. Third, increasing attention to clarity of theory that underlies rigorous improvement research,4 the epistemology and guidelines for scholarly publication,5 and typologies for formal research in improvement science6 are all developing at an accelerating pace (see page 403). We argue that these changes both facilitate the development of an expert teaching faculty and make its development …

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