Teaching internal medicine residents quality improvement and patient safety: a lean thinking approach

Am J Med Qual. 2010 May-Jun;25(3):211-7. doi: 10.1177/1062860609357466. Epub 2010 Mar 31.


Patient safety (PS) and quality improvement (QI) are among the highest priorities for all health systems. Resident physicians are often at the front lines of providing care for patients. In many instances, however, QI and PS initiatives exclude trainees. By aligning the goals of the health system with those of the residency program to engage residents in QI and PS projects, there is a unique opportunity to fulfill both a corporate and educational mission to improve patient care. Here, the authors briefly describe one residency program's educational curriculum to provide foundational knowledge in QI and PS to all its trainees and highlight a resident team-based project that applied principles of lean thinking to evaluate the process of responding to an in-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest. This approach provided residents with a practical experience but also presented an opportunity for trainees to align with the health system's approach to improving quality and safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Clinical Competence
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / education*
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration*
  • Michigan
  • Models, Educational
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Problem-Based Learning / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • Safety*