Results of an Effort to Integrate Quality and Safety Into Medical and Nursing Schools
Improvements in health care are slow, in part because doctors and nurses lack skills in quality improvement, patient safety, and interprofessional teamwork. This article reports on the Retooling for Quality and Safety initiative of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which sought to integrate improvement and patient safety into medical and nursing school curricula.
In one academic year, 2009–10, the initiative supported new learning activities (87 percent of which were interprofessional, involving both medical and nursing students) in classrooms, simulation centers, and clinical care settings that involved 1,374 student encounters at six universities. The work generated insights—described in this article—into which learning goals require interprofessional education; how to create clinically based improvement learning for all students; and how to demonstrate the effects on students’ behavior, organizational practice, and benefits to patients. A commonly encountered limiting factor for the programs was the lack of a critical mass of clinically based faculty members who were ready to teach about the improvement of care. What’s more, the paucity of robust evaluation strategies for such programs suggests a future research agenda that deserves to be funded.