ASQ - Education Division

Quality Comes Alive: An Interdisciplinary Student Team’s Quality Improvement Experience in Learning by Doing— Healthcare Education Case Study

Abstract: This Quality Approaches in Higher Education article is authored by Rosa K. Hand, Mary A. Dolansky, E. Erin Hanahan, Vinothini M. Sundaram, and Nancy Tinsley. This healthcare education case study was conducted at Case Western Reserve University. Quality Improvement (QI) and patient safety are recognized as important aspects of medical and nursing curricula; however, little literature has discussed implementing an interdisciplinary approach to these topics. Literature from all disciplines also lacks the perspective of students on methods for teaching these topics. This paper describes an interdisciplinary graduate-level course on quality improvement which incorporates real-life implementation of a QI project in a clinical setting. One student team’s experience in the clinical QI project is presented as a case study to demonstrate how the tools taught in the course were implemented in the field project. In addition, challenges faced by the students and student reactions to the course are discussed. Overall, this paper presents a model for academic and clinical faculty to partner and teach QI to interdisciplinary teams.

Keywords: Best Practices - Quality Approaches in Higher Education - Quality Tools - Partnering - Teams - Hands-on Learning - Training

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