Factors predicting training transfer in health professionals participating in quality improvement educational interventions

BMC Med Educ. 2017 Jan 31;17(1):26. doi: 10.1186/s12909-017-0866-7.


Background: Predictors of quality improvement (QI) training transfer are needed. This study aimed to identify these predictors among health professionals who participated in a QI training program held at a large hospital in the United States between 2005 and 2014. It also aimed to determine how these predictive factors facilitated or impeded QI training transfer.

Methods: Following the Success Case Method, we used a screening survey to identify trainees with high and low levels of training transfer. We then conducted semistructured interviews with a sample of the survey respondents to document how training transfer was achieved and how lack of training transfer could be explained. The survey's response rate was 43%, with a Cronbach alpha of 0.89. We then conducted a thematic analysis of the interview transcripts of 16 physicians.

Results: The analysis revealed 3 categories of factors influencing the transfer of QI training: trainee characteristics, training course, and work environment. Relevant trainee characteristics included attitude toward change, motivation, mental processing skills, interpersonal skills, and the personality characteristics curiosity, humility, conscientiousness, resilience, wisdom, and positivity. The training project, team-based learning, and lectures were identified as relevant aspects of the training course. Work culture, work relationships, and resources were subthemes of the work environment category.

Conclusions: We identified several QI training transfer predictors in our cohort of physicians. We hypothesize that some of these predictors may be more relevant to QI training transfer. Our results will help organizational leaders select trainees who are most likely to transfer QI training and to ensure that their work environments are conducive to QI training transfer.

Keywords: Change-driven culture; Health professionals; Quality improvement; Success case method; Training; Training transfer; Work environment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Forecasting / methods
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / methods
  • Inservice Training / organization & administration
  • Inservice Training / standards*
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Culture
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Patient Care Team / standards*
  • Personality Assessment
  • Program Evaluation / methods
  • Quality Improvement / organization & administration
  • Quality Improvement / standards*
  • Transfer, Psychology*
  • United States