BMJ Open Quality
Allison Brown, Seamus Sreenan, Alice McGarvey
The alarming prevalence of medical error and adverse events in the health system raises a call to action to ensure that doctors in training receive adequate training in quality improvement (QI). Training medical students in QI remains a challenge given time constraints, lack of clinical exposure, and already saturated curricula. In some instances, QI training may be delivered during clerkship through didactic, and in some instances, and experiential learning. Preclinical years of medical school remain focused on introducing students to scientific and clinical concepts, rarely do they learn about QI. The Program for Innovation in Scholarship and Medicine (PRISM) is a programme that introduces first-year medical students to the fundamentals of QI using their experience as a medical student as the context. PRISM is a condensed QI curriculum that is delivered through an international partnership, based on a previously piloted programme at a Canadian medical school. Following an introductory workshop, medical students work in teams to develop QI proposals (project charters) which detail how QI principles and tools can generate small-scale improvements within their educational programme. Project charters are assessed by a team of faculty and upper year students, who have previously participated. On completion of the programme, students demonstrated increased knowledge, skills, and attitudes towards QI. Programme participants were satisfied with the structure and expectations of PRISM and expressed a newfound interest in QI. Nearly all participants would recommend PRISM to another medical student. In conclusion, PRISM serves as a resourceful, efficient educational approach for preclerkship students that provides an introduction to the concepts of QI in order for early trainees to build on baseline knowledge and skills throughout their training.