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Immediate and long-term effects of a team-based quality improvement training programme
  1. Kevin J O’Leary1,
  2. Abra L Fant2,
  3. Jessica Thurk3,
  4. Karl Y Bilimoria4,
  5. Aashish K Didwania1,
  6. Kristine M Gleason5,
  7. Matthew Groth6,
  8. Jane L Holl7,
  9. Claire A Knoten6,
  10. Gary J Martin1,
  11. Patricia O’Sullivan6,
  12. Mark Schumacher6,
  13. Donna M Woods7
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  2. 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  3. 3Office of Faculty Affairs, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  4. 4Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  5. 5Department of Quality Improvement, Amita Health Adventist Medical Center, Hinsdale, Illinois, USA
  6. 6Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  7. 7Center for Education in Health Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kevin J O’Leary, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA; keoleary{at}nm.org

Abstract

Background Although many studies of quality improvement (QI) education programmes report improvement in learners’ knowledge and confidence, the impact on learners’ future engagement in QI activities is largely unknown and few studies report project measures beyond completion of the programme.

Method We developed the Academy for Quality and Safety Improvement (AQSI) to prepare individuals, across multiple departments and professions, to lead QI. The 7-month programme consisted of class work and team-based project work. We assessed participants’ knowledge using a multiple choice test and an adapted Quality Improvement Knowledge Assessment Test (QIKAT) before and after the programme. We evaluated participants’ postprogramme QI activity and project status using surveys at 6 and 18 months.

Results Over 5 years, 172 individuals and 32 teams participated. Participants had higher multiple choice test (71.9±12.7 vs 79.4±13.2; p<0.001) and adapted QIKAT scores (55.7±16.3 vs 61.8±14.7; p<0.001) after the programme. The majority of participants at 6 months indicated that they had applied knowledge and skills learnt to improve quality in their clinical area (129/148; 87.2%) and to implement QI interventions (92/148; 62.2%). At 18 months, nearly half (48/101; 47.5%) had led other QI projects and many (41/101; 40.6%) had provided QI mentorship to others. Overall, 14 (43.8%) teams had positive postintervention results at AQSI completion and 20 (62.5%) had positive results at some point (ie, completion, 6 months or 18 months after AQSI).

Conclusions A team-based QI training programme resulted in a high degree of participants’ involvement in QI activities beyond completion of the programme. A majority of team projects showed improvement in project measures, often occurring after completion of the programme.

  • quality improvement
  • health professions education
  • continuing education, continuing professional development

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Footnotes

  • Contributors All authors listed on the manuscript have contributed sufficiently to be included as authors.

  • Funding This project was funded by Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Northwestern Medical Group.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study was deemed exempt by the Northwestern University Institutional Review Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Additional unpublished data are not available.

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