The Health Innovations Scholars Program: A Model for Accelerating Preclinical Medical Students' Mastery of Skills for Leading Improvement of Clinical Systems

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Abstract

Dramatic changes in health care require physician leadership. Efforts to instill necessary skills often occur late in training. The Heath Innovations Scholars Program (HISP) provided preclinical medical students with experiential learning focused on process improvement. Students led initiatives to improve the discharge process for stroke patients. All students completed an aptitude survey and Quality Improvement Knowledge Assessment Test (QIKAT) before and after the program. Significant improvements occurred across subject areas of leadership (18.4%, P < .001), quality and safety (14.7%, P < .001), and health care systems operations (21.2%, P < .008), and in the domains of knowledge (25.9%, P < .001) and skills (25.2%, P < .001). Average cumulative QIKAT results improved significantly (8.33 to 9.83, P = .04). Three of 4 recommended interventions were implemented. Furthermore, students engaged in other process improvement work on return to their home institutions. The HISP successfully advanced preclinical medical students' ability to lead clinical systems improvement.

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