In order to enhance patient care outcomes within clinic, residents work collaboratively within multidisciplinary teams. From the first year forward residents track clinic progress on core measures, identify areas for team improvement, and participate in rapid re-design cycles (Plan Do Study Act). They receive feedback on the quality of their care from physicians, nurses, and a patient satisfaction survey. During their second year, residents attend quality assurance, practice, and peer review committee meetings and contribute to an ongoing quality improvement project in a local community hospital. The capstone performance improvement project in our program involves a month-long, faculty-mentored patient safety project in an area of the resident's choice. Primary care areas that residents have selected include improving compliance with:
- Outpatient care of chronic kidney disease by implementation of KDOQI guidelines
- Breast and colon cancer screening
- Tobacco screening and counseling
- Cardiac and pneumonia patient outcome core measures, and
- Activating patients in their own care to improve patient participation and outcomes
- HIV screening recommendations
Many of the over 30 resident projects have been implemented as a result of residents' outstanding commitment to quality improvement. Residents leave this program equipped to assess safety practices and committed to putting into place processes of care designed to improve the outcomes of their patients.