A systems approach for implementing practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice in graduate medical education

Prathibha Varkey, Sudhakar Karlapudi, Steven Rose, Roger Nelson, Mark Warner
Academic Medicine 2009, 84 (3): 335-9
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) initiated its Outcome Project to better prepare physicians-in-training to practice in the rapidly changing medical environment and mandated assessment of competency in six outcomes, including Practice-Based Learning and Improvement (PBLI) and Systems-Based Practice (SBP). Before the initiation of the Outcome Project, these competencies were not an explicit element of most graduate medical education training programs. Since 1999, directors of ACGME-accredited programs nationwide have been challenged to teach and assess these competencies. The authors describe an institution-wide curriculum intended to facilitate the teaching and assessment of PBLI and SBP competencies in the 115 ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs (serving 1,327 trainees) sponsored by Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education. Strategies to establish the curriculum in 2005 included development of a Quality Improvement (QI) curriculum Web site, one-on-one consultations with program directors, a three-hour program director workshop, and didactic sessions for residents and fellows on core topics. An interim program director self-assessment survey revealed a 13% increase in perceived ability to measure competency in SBP, no change in their perceived ability to measure competence in PBLI, a 15% increase in their ability to provide written documentation of competence in PBLI, and a 35% increase in their ability to provide written documentation of competence in SBP between 2005 and 2007. Nearly 70% of the programs had trainees participating in QI projects. Further research is needed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of such a program and to measure its impact on learner knowledge, skills, and attitudes and, ultimately, on patient outcomes.

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