Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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QI: Teaching lead to learning

Effectiveness of a quality improvement curriculum for medical students Tartaglia K et al. Medical Education Online 2015, 20: 27133

Reviewed by Parul Bhatia

What was the study question?
Do senior medical students who participate in a Quality Improvement (QI) curriculum consisting of online modules, live discussions, reflective writing and mentored projects demonstrate improved QI knowledge and skills?

How was the study done?
This was an observational study conducted over a 3-year period at OSU College of Medicine. Twenty-two Year IV medical students applying to Internal Medicine residency in an Honor’s elective that included a 40-hour QI curriculum participated in the study. A convenience sample of 12 control students similarly applying to Internal Medicine residency but not enrolled in the elective served as controls. All participating students completed a 12-item self-assessment measuring their comfort with QI principles, and a post-test Quality Improvement Knowledge Application Tool (QIKAT) measuring their knowledge and application of QI principles. The QIKAT consisted of three sample QI scenarios for which participants answered questions related to the aim, associated measures, and potential interventions for the sample projects. Scoring was completed by a blinded rater.

What were the results?
There were no differences in self-reported prior exposures to QI principles at baseline. The intervention group reported more comfort with QI skills in 9 of 12 domains (p<0.05), and performed better in each of the 3 case scenarios on the QIKAT (p<0.001).

What are the implications of these findings?
This study is one of the first to utilize the knowledge portion of the QIKAT to evaluate a QI curricula in medical student education and demonstrates an association between a successful QI curriculum and improved comfort and knowledge with QI principles. The curriculum employed multiple learning modalities asynchronously over a 9-month period, making scheduling and successful completion of the modules more convenient.

Editor’s note: Students participating in the Honors elective rated the QI curriculum the highlight of their course. It did rconsume 40 hours of curriuculum time! (RR).

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