Background: Over the past decade, regulatory bodies have heightened their emphasis on health care quality and safety. Education of physicians is a priority in this effort, with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requiring that trainees attain competence in practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice. To date, several studies about the use of resident education related to quality and safety have been published, but no comprehensive interdisciplinary curricula seem to exist. Effective, formal, comprehensive cross-disciplinary resident training in quality and patient safety appear to be a vital need.
Methods: To address the need for comprehensive resident training in quality and patient safety, we developed and assessed a formal standardized cross-disciplinary curriculum entitled Quality Education and Safe Systems Training (QuESST). The curriculum was offered to first-year residents in a large urban medical center. Preintervention and postintervention assessments and participant perception surveys evaluated the effectiveness and educational value of QuESST.
Results: A total of 138 first-year medical and pharmacy residents participated in the QuESST course. Paired analysis of preintervention and postintervention assessments showed significant improvement in participants' knowledge of quality and patient safety. Participants' perceptions about the value of the curriculum were favorable, as evidenced by a mean response of 1.8 on a scale of 1 (strongly agree) to 5 (strongly disagree) that the course should be taught to subsequent residency classes.
Conclusion: QuESST is an effective comprehensive quality curriculum for residents. Based on these findings, our institution has made QuESST mandatory for all future first-year resident cohorts. Other institutions should explore the value of QuESST or a similar curriculum for enhancing resident competence in quality and patient safety.