• Quality Improvement Amid a Global Pandemic: A Virtual Curriculum for Medical Students in the Time of COVID-19

      Donohue, K.E.; Farber, D.L.; Goel, N.; Parrino, C.R.; Retener, N.F.; Rizvi, S.; Dittmar, P.C. (Association of American Medical Colleges, 2021-02-05)
      Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020 necessitated the removal of medical students from direct patient care activities to prevent disease spread and to conserve personal protective equipment. In order for medical student education to continue, virtual and online electives were designed and implemented expeditiously. We created a virtual curriculum that taught quality improvement (QI) skills within the context of the global pandemic. Methods: This 4-week curriculum enrolled 16 students. Students completed the revised QI knowledge application tool (QIKAT-R) before and after the course to assess QI knowledge. Students completed prereading, online modules, and received lectures on QI and incident command systems. Each group designed their own QI project related to our hospital system's response to the pandemic. Finally, groups presented their projects at a peer symposium and completed peer evaluations. Results: Students' QIKAT-R scores improved throughout the course from a mean of 5.5 (SD = 1.3) to a mean of 7.5 (SD = 1.1; p < 0.001). Students reported that the virtual learning experience delivered the material effectively, and all students agreed that they would participate in QI work in the future. Discussion: Patient safety and QI topics are content areas for multiple medical licensing examinations. Virtual learning is an effective way to deliver QI content to medical students and residents, especially when projects are trainee-led, QI-trained faculty serve as mentors, and the projects harmonize with institutional goals. Our virtual pandemic-focused curriculum has demonstrated efficacy in increasing medical student QI knowledge. Copyright 2021 Donohue et al.