Continuous quality improvement (CQI) has become an increasingly important part of the health care industry, both in patient care and in education. A recent national policy statement from the Institute of Medicine urges physicians to take the lead in improving the quality of the U.S. health care system. Resident participation in CQI is required by the ACGME under the competency of “practice-based learning and improvement”. In addition, the American Board of Pediatrics requires a Quality Improvement project for recertification. Given this new emphasis, we have developed a robust QI program that spans all three years of residency.
By the completion of residency, our residents should be able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively participate in a CQI effort and demonstrate an appreciation for the need to improve quality in health care. This program utilizes the following components:
Online Training Modules
Several on-line training modules, ranging from the basics of CQI to a more “graduate” level, are available by iPad or other internet-connected devices.
Interactive Discussion Session
This workshop occurs at the end of intern year, and includes a review of the residency CQI program. It allows for an interactive discussion of QI concepts and brainstorming to generate ideas for potential QI projects.
Residents are required to participate in a CQI project. These projects are collaborative and interdisciplinary in nature. They build teamwork skills and foster a sense of inquiry and personal responsibility for overall healthcare for our patient population. Residents can do short (a few months) or long-term projects in groups with other residents, faculty, hospitals, etc. All residents must complete a project by the end of their third year. Graduating seniors must present their projects in poster or oral format during an annual scholarly projects forum their senior year. Projects may also be presented at a regional pediatrics conference in the spring of each year. Many may rise to the level of publication in peer-reviewed journals.