The "Plan-Do-Check-Action" Plan Helps Improve the Quality of the "Standardized Training of Resident Physicians": An Analysis of the Results of the First Pass Rate

Front Public Health. 2021 Feb 23;8:598774. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.598774. eCollection 2020.


Background: Medical education is a demanding lifelong learning process, which includes three tightly connected stages: college education, post-graduate education, and continuous education. Residency, the first several years after a college education, is a pivotal time in the development of a qualified doctor. Additionally, residents are the main force that undertakes much of the clinical work in hospitals. Therefore, guaranteeing and improving residents' clinical skills and abilities through the standardized training of resident physicians (STRP) is important. However, compared with other hospitals in the Zhejiang Province, the STRP assessment results of residents in our hospital were not satisfactory in recent years. Therefore, the objective of this study was to find the problems causing the unsatisfactory performance and identify the role of the "Plan-Do-Check-Action" (PDCA) plan in providing a valuable framework for future training. Methods: Relevant studies of STRP in China and abroad were investigated by the literature review. According to published data by the Health Commision of Zhejiang Province, we collected the STRP assessment rsults of a total number of 12,036 residents. The inclusion cretria of these residents include: (1) 3rd-year residents. (2) taking STRP in the Zhejiang Province during 2016-2018 or 2017-2019. (3) the first time taking the clinical practice ability examination (CPAE) in 2018 or 2019. The results of 634 3rd-year residents from The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University (SAHZU) were provided by the Department of Medical Education and were analyzed in depth. Three hundred and eight residents from SAHZU received normal training and took the CPAE in 2018, whereas 326 residets received PDCA and took the CPAE in 2019. PDCA is a program designed to improve the performance of residency in SAHZU. It includes the formulation and implementation of specific training plans, the check of effects, and continuous improvements. There was no change in the STRP assessment in these 2 years and the indicator of performance in the STRP assessment was the first pass rate (FPR). Statistical analyses were performed using Pearson's chi-squared test, Yates-corrected chi-square test, or Fisher's exact test (SPSS Statistics, version 25). A P-value of < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: A total number of 6,180 and 5,856 examinees in the Zhejiang Province took the clinical practice ability examination in 2018 and 2019, respectively. In 2018, a total of 308 residents from 20 departments of the SAHZU took the STRP assessment. In 2019, a total of 326 residents from 22 departments of the SAHZU underwent the PDCA plan and took the STRP assessment. Compared with the results in 2018, the average FPR in the Zhejiang Province increased by 2.92% from 87.87 to 90.79% (P < 0.001). The FPR of the SAHZU increased by 7.88% from 85.06 to 92.94% (P = 0.001). In the SAHZU, the FPRs of the Department of Emergency and Department of Anesthesiology improved 34.51% (P = 0.024) and 20.36% (P = 0.004), respectively. There were no significant differences between the performances in the 2 years of the other 20 departments. There were improved results in the "Clinical Thinking and Decision-Making" and "Operation of Basic Skills" assessment stations with increases of 3.01% (P = 0.002) and 3.94% (P = 0.002), respectively. No statistically significant differences in the FPRs of the other six stations were found. The performances in all the stations in the final tests were better than in the stimulation tests (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Although our sample size was relatively small, our results showed a small success of the PDCA plan in improving the quality of the STRP, especially for the residents in the Departments of Emergency and Anesthesiology. The PDCA plan also contributed to enhancing residents' abilities in the "Clinical Thinking and Decision-Making" and "Operation of Basic Skills" stations. Taken together, the PDCA plan may provide a practical framework for developing future training plans.

Keywords: PDCA plan; assessment results; education; first pass rate; the standardized training of resident physicians.