Background and objectives: Quality improvement (QI) has become an integral aspect of family medicine residency training. This study examines whether QI training during residency is associated with the integration of QI activities into practice following graduation.
Methods: A confidential survey was delivered to South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium (SC AHEC)-associated family medicine residency program graduates from 2005--2009. The survey evaluated QI training during residency, as well as the following QI activities in current practice: periodic patient care data review, patient care registries, specific QI projects, disease-specific QI activities, National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) Recognition, having staff QI leaders, and participation in a Practice-based Research Network (PBRN). Proportions were compared using chi-square tests. Stepwise logistic regressions were performed to identify variables predictive of specific QI activities in practice.
Results: The response rate was 51.3% (n=136). Most participants received QI training (75.8%) and currently participated in at least one QI activity (87.1%). PBRN involvement and having staff QI leaders was associated with involvement in all other QI activities. QI training was associated with periodic patient care data review (odds ratio (OR)=3.32; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.26--8.78) and performing specific QI projects (OR=3.17; 95% CI=1.09--9.23).
Conclusions: QI training during residency is associated with involvement in specific QI activities following graduation. Further, participation in a PBRN or having staff QI leaders is also associated with involvement in QI activities. Further evaluation of residency QI curricula is warranted to identify effective strategies that positively impact future practice.