Attitudes of Pulmonary and Critical Care Training Program Directors toward Quality Improvement Education

Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2015 Apr;12(4):587-90. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201501-061BC.


Rationale: Quality improvement (QI) is a required component of fellowship training in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. However, little is known about how training programs approach QI education.

Objectives: We sought to understand the perceptions of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine training program directors toward QI education.

Methods: We developed and fielded an internet survey of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine training program directors during 2013. Survey domains included program characteristics, the extent of trainee and faculty involvement in QI, attitudes toward QI education, and barriers to successful QI education in their programs.

Measurements and main results: A total of 75 program directors completed the survey (response rate = 45.2%). Respondents represented both adult (n = 43, 57.3%) and pediatric (n = 32, 42.7%) programs. Although the majority of directors (n = 60, 80.0%) reported substantial fellow involvement in QI, only 19 (26.0%) reported having a formal QI education curriculum. QI education was primarily based around faculty mentoring (n = 46, 61.3%) and lectures (n = 38, 50.7%). Most directors agreed it is an important part of fellowship training (n = 63, 84.0%). However, fewer reported fellows were well integrated into ongoing QI activities (n = 45, 60.0%) or graduating fellows were capable of carrying out independent QI (n = 28, 50.7%). Key barriers to effective QI education included lack of qualified faculty, lack of interest among fellows, and lack of time.

Conclusions: Training program directors in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine value QI education but face substantial challenges to integrating it into fellowship training.

Keywords: education; quality assurance; quality improvement.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Critical Care*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods*
  • Faculty, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Medicine / education*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Sleep Medicine Specialty / education*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires