Using a Modified A3 Lean Framework to Identify Ways to Increase Students’ Reporting of Mistreatment Behaviors

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Abstract

Problem

The proportion of students who experience mistreatment is significantly higher than the proportion of students who report mistreatment. Identifying ways to improve students’ reporting of these incidents is one strategy for increasing opportunities to achieve resolution and prevent future occurrences.

Approach

The authors applied a modified A3 Lean framework to examine medical student reporting of mistreatment behaviors at the University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS) in 2013–2016. The A3 Lean framework is a stepwise approach that involves outlining the background to establish the context of the problem, describing the current condition, identifying the goal or desired outcome, analyzing causes of the problem, providing proposed countermeasures for improvement, and creating follow-up plans. The authors identified three reasons for the difference between students’ experiences and reporting of mistreatment and developed five countermeasures/action plan items to address this difference.

Outcomes

The proportion of students reporting mistreatment at UMMS increased 21.4% between 2013 and 2016. Compared with 2013, more students in 2016 indicated not reporting because the incident did not seem important enough or because they resolved the issue on their own.

Next Steps

The authors have enlisted the support of the health system’s human resources department and presented the inaugural grand rounds on improving the learning environment in 2016. Among other things, they are also partnering with this team to add questions about student mistreatment and civility to the annual employee engagement survey distributed to all 20,000 employees.

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