Does a Long-Term Quality and Safety Curriculum for Health Care Professionals Improve Clinical Practice? An Evaluation of Quality Improvement Projects
SourceJournal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 40, 1, (2020), pp. 3-10
Article / Letter to the editor
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Radboud Universitair Medisch Centrum
Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions
SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 6: Metabolic Disorders RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
INTRODUCTION: Little is known about the effects on clinical practice of continuing education quality and safety curricula. The aim of this study is to gain insight into learning outcomes on the fourth level of the Kirkpatrick evaluation model for systematically deployed quality improvement projects performed by health care professionals during a Masters in Healthcare Quality and Safety in the Netherlands. METHODS: The researchers reviewed 35 projects led by health care professionals in 16 different hospitals to determine their scopes and effects. Afterward, professionals took an online survey to determine the extent of their project's sustainability and spread. RESULTS: Improving health care safety was the most prevalent quality dimension (n = 11, 31%). A positive change was measured by professionals for 64% (n = 35) of the primary outcomes. Statistical significance was measured in 19 (35%) of the outcomes, of which nine (47%) were found to have a statistically significant effect. A minority of professionals (17%) judged their project as sustained by the department, while some stated that the intervention (37%) or the results of the project (11%) had spread. DISCUSSION: Although most projects indicated an improvement in their primary outcomes, only a few resulted in statistically significant changes. Teaching professionals in using evaluation methods that take into account the complex context where these projects are performed and teaching them leadership skills is needed to reduce the likelihood of unmeasured outcomes. Analyzing learning experiences of professionals in performing the project is important to see what they learned from performing quality improvement projects, providing experiences that may lead to sustainable effects in future projects.
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