Quality Improvement in Otolaryngology Residency: Survey of Program Directors

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Abstract

Objectives

The Clinical Learning Environment Review focuses on the responsibility of the sponsoring institution for quality and patient safety. Very little information is known regarding the status of quality improvement (QI) education during otolaryngology training. The purpose of this survey is to evaluate the extent of resident and faculty participation in QI and identify opportunities for both resident curriculum and faculty development.

Study Design

Cross-sectional survey

Subjects and Methods

A 15-item survey was distributed to all 106 otolaryngology program directors. The survey was developed after an informal review of the literature regarding education in QI and patient safety. Questions were directed at the format and content of the QI curriculum, as well as barriers to implementation.

Results

There was a 39% response rate. Ninety percent of responding program directors considered education in QI important or very important to a resident’s future success. Only 23% of responding programs contained an educational curriculum in QI, and only 33% monitored residents’ individual outcome measures. Barriers to implementation of a QI program included inadequate number of faculty with expertise in QI (75%) and competing resident educational demands (90%). Every program director considered morbidity and mortality conferences as an integral component in QI education.

Conclusions

Program directors recognize the importance of QI in otolaryngology practice. Unfortunately, this survey identifies a distinct lack of resources in support of these educational goals. The results highlight the need to generate a comprehensive and stepwise approach to QI for faculty development and resident instruction.

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