Achieving Quality Improvement through Collaborative Staff, Faculty, and Student Initiatives in the Clinical Setting

Monday, 18 November 2013: 10:40 AM

Dana Tschannen, PhD, RN
Libby Brough, PhD, RN
Michelle Aebersold, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

The University of Michigan Health System and the School of Nursing formed a partnership to enable students to have hands-on experiences in the clinical learning environment to work on quality improvement processes using a team-based approach.   According to the Institute of Medicine and Quality and Safety Education for Nurses, pre-licensure nurses must be competent in quality improvement (QI), which includes testing changes to continuously improve the quality and safety of health care systems.  Student learners working with staff  in the clinical setting can make significant contributions to QI efforts through a variety of methodologies. At the University of Michigan, students at each level of the curriculum are involved in QI and safety initiatives within their respective clinical units.  These initiatives have included student-led evidence-based practice projects aligned with nurse-sensitive quality outcomes, participation in ongoing QI activities on the unit, and focused Root Cause Analysis (RCA) projects aimed at improving patient care processes and outcomes.  The purpose of this presentation will be to provide an overview of how we have integrated didactic content related to quality and safety with specific clinical applications for each level of the curriculum. Several examples of integration will be included.  For example, all senior students participate in a RCA project in alignment with their senior-level Leadership and Management course.  Over 75 teams have been deployed within the partnering health system.  Data and feedback from unit leadership has noted significant value  of the RCA initiative and has resulted in improved processes and patient outcomes.  This presentation will include specific examples of student involvement in QI efforts at all levels of the curriculum, such as described in the RCA initiative. In addition, specific details as to how to begin integrating QI participation into the undergraduate curriculum in any institution will be provided.