As an introduction to quality improvement (QI) methodology, a multi-faceted QI curriculum is offered to first year family medicine residents. The curriculum includes online resources, e-learning modules, an in-class workshop and project application with supervision from faculty at each academic site. In addition, a robust set of assessment and evaluation tools support continuous improvement of the curriculum.
The topics that are introduced in the in-class workshop include:
- Introduction to QI
- System Diagnostic Tools
- Building a QI Team
- Model for Improvement
To support the application of the principles related to quality improvement (QI) methodology, first year family medicine residents are required to complete a QI project by the end of the first year of residency. QI projects must demonstrate interprofessional care team participation and provide evidence of the methodology in action through aim setting, measurement, and testing of change ideas. A critical feature of the project is the building of knowledge or learning about the primary care system that comes from the use of system diagnostic tools, a focus on measurement, and prediction related to the impact of change.
An example of a QI poster template is included here which visually depicts a primary care teams’ quality improvement project
The QI Program also offers customized 1-day training sessions to support capacity building for quality improvement. These sessions target faculty, community-based physicians and interprofessional team members working in primary care and may be focused on the Model for Improvement or Lean methodological approaches to improvement.
Quality Improvement Defined
Quality improvement is defined as:
“… the combined and unceasing efforts of everyone - - to make the changes that will lead to better patient outcomes (health), better system performance (care) and better professional development (learning)”
-Batalden P., Davidoff F. (2007).What is “quality improvement” and how can it transform healthcare? Qual Saf Health Care. 16(1): 2–3.
QI simply defined is a method of continuously finding better ways to provide better patient care and service. It embodies the principles of:
- Customer focus (the patient)
- Continuous improvement of all processes
- Involvement of all (the team)
- Use of data and knowledge to improve decision making
When we think about the various improvement drivers that we encounter during our healthcare experience, we suggest thinking beyond quality improvement recognizing that quality can be achieved across many drivers that are encountered in our systems.