Development of Resident-Sensitive Quality Measures for Inpatient General Internal Medicine

J Gen Intern Med. 2020 Oct 26. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06320-0. Online ahead of print.


Background: Graduate medical education (GME) training has long-lasting effects on patient care quality. Despite this, few GME programs use clinical care measures as part of resident assessment. Furthermore, there is no gold standard to identify clinical care measures that are reflective of resident care. Resident-sensitive quality measures (RSQMs), defined as "measures that are meaningful in patient care and are most likely attributable to resident care," have been developed using consensus methodology and piloted in pediatric emergency medicine. However, this approach has not been tested in internal medicine (IM).

Objective: To develop RSQMs for a general internal medicine (GIM) inpatient residency rotation using previously described consensus methods.

Design: The authors used two consensus methods, nominal group technique (NGT) and a subsequent Delphi method, to generate RSQMs for a GIM inpatient rotation. RSQMs were generated for specific clinical conditions found on a GIM inpatient rotation, as well as for general care on a GIM ward.

Participants: NGT participants included nine IM and medicine-pediatrics (MP) residents and six IM and MP faculty members. The Delphi group included seven IM and MP residents and seven IM and MP faculty members.

Main measures: The number and description of RSQMs generated during this process.

Key results: Consensus methods resulted in 89 RSQMs with the following breakdown by condition: GIM general care-21, diabetes mellitus-16, hyperkalemia-14, COPD-13, hypertension-11, pneumonia-10, and hypokalemia-4. All RSQMs were process measures, with 48% relating to documentation and 51% relating to orders. Fifty-eight percent of RSQMs were related to the primary admitting diagnosis, while 42% could also be related to chronic comorbidities that require management during an admission.

Conclusions: Consensus methods resulted in 89 RSQMs for a GIM inpatient service. While all RSQMs were process measures, they may still hold value in learner assessment, formative feedback, and program evaluation.

Keywords: assessment; competency-based medical education; graduate medical education; quality.