Author: Gerri Lamb, PhD, RN, FAAN
Title: Associate Professor
Institution: Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
Coauthors: Marsha Lewis, Bethany Robertson, Corrine Abraham, Ann Connor
- Design a small test of change
- Describe processes for identifying opportunities for improving quality and safety
- Describe processes and tools for analyzing quality and safety problems and implementing and evaluating improvements.
- Analyze the usefulness of national quality and safety resources and initiatives for guiding clinical practice
- Analyze how professional and clinical team performance affects quality of patient care and safety
- Identify and practice a set of effective strategies for communication and resolving conflict
Our intent with this 6-week quality improvement exercise was to provide students with a hands-on experience in carrying out all of the steps in a quality improvement exercise, including defining a problem, searching the literature for relevant evidence, collecting baseline data, conducting root cause analysis, using quality improvement tools, including run charts, fishbone diagrams etc, and evaluating two small tests of change. This exercise was part of the second-semester senior year professional development course that we linked across classroom, seminar, and clinical rotations. We are sharing three components of this exercise:
- the overview of the exercise and grading rubric
- an example of seminar guidelines provided to students each week of the 6-week exercise that integrates attention to quality improvement, safety and teamwork processes
- the schedule for linking classroom, seminar, and clinical experiences including “clinical connect” questions for clinical faculty.
We evaluated this process through (1) student presentations and papers (the format and grading rubric for these presentations and papers are included in the attached materials) and (2) feedback from the faculty and student advisory groups. The student presentations were graded by 2 faculty members and all received B+ or higher scores, indicating moderate to high level of achievement of the exercise objectives. Feedback from the student advisory group (15 students of a 100 student cohort) was excellent. They identified this exercise as one of the most positive aspects of the Professional Development course. Faculty feedback was narrative only; also very positive. Faculty noted that the exercise helped them learn QI process and tools along with their student groups. They felt that students were more aware of quality improvement activities in their clinical experiences as a result of the exercise.