Background and objectives: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has recognized the importance of quality improvement (QI) training and requires that accredited residencies in all specialties demonstrate that residents are "integrated and actively participate in interdisciplinary clinical quality improvement and patient safety activities." However, competing demands in residency training may make this difficult to accomplish. The study's objective is to develop and evaluate a longitudinal curriculum that meets the ACGME requirement for QI and patient safety training and links to patient-centered medical home (PCMH) practices.
Methods: Residents in the Worcester Family Medicine Residency (WFMR) participated in a faculty-developed quality improvement curriculum that included web-based tutorials, quality improvement projects, and small-group sessions across all 3 years of residency. They completed self-evaluations of knowledge and use of curricular activities annually and at graduation, and comparisons were made between two graduating classes, as well as comparison of end of PGY2 to end of PGY3 for one class.
Results: Graduating residents who completed the full 3 years of the curriculum rated themselves as significantly more skilled in nine of 15 areas assessed at end of residency compared to after PGY2 and reported confidence in providing future leadership in a focus group. Five areas were also rated significantly higher than prior-year residents.
Conclusions: Involving family medicine residents in a longitudinal curriculum with hands-on practice in implementing QI, patient safety, and chronic illness management activities that are inclusive of PCMH goals increased their self-perceived skills and leadership ability to implement these new and emerging evidence-based practices in primary care.