Creating the capacity and capability for meaningful improvement in healthcare quality is a challenge many organizations face. Before 2012, Children’s Mercy sponsored 20 leaders to obtain advanced improvement training from peer organizations. Recognizing an opportunity to build upon this momentum, we developed an organization-wide curriculum for teaching continuous improvement.
A steering committee was created in 2011 to define, advise, and oversee education in improvement science. We agreed upon a framework for improvement, a program name [Continuous Quality and Practice Improvement (CQPI)], and a phased curriculum development approach, beginning with a project/experiential learning based course (Team CQPI). Course evaluation for Team CQPI consisted of a standard evaluation of objectives, pre- and post-course assessment, qualitative feedback, and serial assessment of project progress using the Team Assessment Score (TAS). The curriculum committee monitored improvement.
From 2012 to 2017, 297 people participated in the project-based course, completing a total of 83 projects. TAS improved throughout the 4-month project-based course, from an average starting score of 1 (“forming a team”) to 2.7 (“changes tested”). The average TAS at 12 months following completion of the Team CQPI course was 3.5 (“improvement”) out of 5.
Development of a comprehensive curriculum for driving continuous improvement has resulted in a measurable change in TAS scores representative of local improvement efforts.