Organizational Readiness to Change: Quality Improvement in Family Medicine Residency

PRiMER. 2020 Jul 29;4:14. doi: 10.22454/PRiMER.2020.441200. eCollection 2020.


Introduction: Primary care is evolving to meet greater demands for the inclusion of collaborative health care quality improvement (QI) processes at the practice level. Yet, data on organizational preparedness for change are limited. We assessed the feasibility of incorporating an organizational-level readiness-to-change tool that identifies factors relevant to QI implementation at the practice level impacting new family medicine physicians.

Methods: We assessed organizational readiness to change at the practice level among residents participating in a team-based QI training curriculum from April 2016 to April 2019. Seventy-six current and former residents annually completed the modified Organizational Readiness to Change Assessment (ORCA) survey. We evaluated QI and leadership readiness among five subscales: empowerment, management, QI, QI leadership (skills), and QI leadership (ability). We calculated mean survey scores and compared across all 3 years. Resident interviews captured unique perspectives and experiences with team-based activities. Qualitative analysis identified emergent themes.

Results: Residents completed 73 modified ORCA surveys (96% response rate). Compared to years 2016-2019, 2018 results were highest in mean negative responses for the QI subscale (24.62, SD 6.70). Four volunteers completed postsurvey interviews. Qualitative analysis identified issues concerning communication, team collaboration, practice site functioning, and survey relevance.

Conclusions: Our study determined that miscommunication and practice site disruptions undermine organizational-level readiness to change, as measured by the ORCA tool which was part of a multimethod assessment included within a team-based QI training curriculum. Training programs undergoing curricula transformations may feasibly incorporate ORCA as a tool to identify impediments to collaborative practice and inform resource allocation important for enhancing physician training in QI leadership.