Establishing a Multi-Institutional Quality and Patient Safety Consortium: Collaboration Across Affiliates in a Community-Based Medical School

Acad Med. 2020 Dec;95(12):1864-1873. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000003552.

Abstract

The landscape of health care delivery and medical education is evolving. Institutions must continually reassess priorities, strategies, and partnerships to align the knowledge and skills of the health care workforce with the delivery of quality, socially accountable, collaborative health care that meets the needs of diverse populations in communities. This article describes the development, implementation, and early outcomes of the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Health Care Quality and Patient Safety Consortium. Inspired by an actual patient safety event, the consortium aimed to improve patient outcomes by establishing quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS) education and scholarship as foundational within its unique, horizontal-matrix academic health center, which comprises 6 affiliated hospitals and 4 university-based health sciences schools. The consortium established a governance structure with leaders who, collectively, represent the diverse members and stakeholders of the consortium. The members share a common agenda and mutual goals. The consortium measures success by applying published conceptual frameworks for evaluating the outcomes of educational programs on learners (Kirkpatrick) and patients (Bzowyckyj and colleagues). Consortium learner and patient outcomes span all levels of these frameworks. Undergraduate and graduate QIPS-based projects with meaningful health system or improved individual health outcomes signify a Level 4 outcome (the highest level) for learners and patients alike. Factors critical to success include a financial gift, leadership buy-in and support, a clear champion, shared goals and a united vision, a willingness to collaborate across health systems with varied strengths and priorities, and a stable communication platform. Aspirational goals of the consortium include increasing involvement across health professional schools, incorporating simulation into QIPS activities, and aligning the consortium's projects with broader community needs.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Patient Safety*
  • Schools, Medical*
  • United States