Postgraduate Education in Quality Improvement Methods: Initial Results of the Fellows’ Applied Quality Training (FAQT) Curriculum

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Abstract

Objective:

Training in quality improvement (QI) is a pillar of the next accreditation system of the Accreditation Committee on Graduate Medical Education and a growing expectation of physicians for maintenance of certification. Despite this, many postgraduate medical trainees are not receiving training in QI methods. We created the Fellows Applied Quality Training (FAQT) curriculum for cardiology fellows using both didactic and applied components with the goal of increasing confidence to participate in future QI projects.

Methods and Results:

Fellows completed didactic training from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Open School and then designed and completed a project to improve quality of care or patient safety. Self-assessments were completed by the fellows before, during, and after the first year of the curriculum. The primary outcome for our curriculum was the median score reported by the fellows regarding their self-confidence to complete QI activities. Self-assessments were completed by 23 fellows. The majority of fellows (15 of 23, 65.2%) reported no prior formal QI training. Median score on baseline self-assessment was 3.0 (range, 1.85–4), which was significantly increased to 3.27 (range, 2.23–4; P = 0.004) on the final assessment. The distribution of scores reported by the fellows indicates that 30% were slightly confident at conducting QI activities on their own, which was reduced to 5% after completing the FAQT curriculum. An interim assessment was conducted after the fellows completed didactic training only; median scores were not different from the baseline (mean, 3.0; P = 0.51).

Conclusion:

After completion of the FAQT, cardiology fellows reported higher self-confidence to complete QI activities. The increase in self-confidence seemed to be limited to the applied component of the curriculum, with no significant change after the didactic component.

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