Significant resources are expended on quality improvement (QI) training courses. The authors sought to determine whether education provided in QI course training improves self-assessed QI content competence and QI-related productivity among course graduates.Method
“Quality Improvement Essentials” is a four-month didactic and experiential course designed to prepare multidisciplinary professionals to participate in and lead QI efforts at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH). This study used a milestone-based self-assessment survey of graduates from 2012 to 2014 to gauge change in participants’ self-assessed QI competency after course completion. Four competency domains were evaluated: QI knowledge; testing and implementing change using teams; data management and analysis; and spreading and sustaining science. Metrics for assessing individual QI productivity were presentation or publication of QI work outside NCH; local, regional, or national QI teaching; serving on a local, regional, or national QI committee; appointment as a QI leader; involvement in an internal or external QI collaborative; and leading a maintenance of certification Part IV project approved by NCH.Results
Course participation more than doubled participants’ self-assessed QI competence across all four domains. Gains continued after the course, increasing with time rather than degrading. Self-assessed competency increase was significantly associated with increased QI productivity.Conclusions
Self-assessed QI competence dramatically improved after participation in an educational course and continued to increase over time. Increased self-assessed QI competency correlated with increased individual QI productivity. Further studies are necessary to fully evaluate “return on investment” for this type of course.