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Quality Improvement and Patient Safety

Quality Improvement and Patient Safety - Internal Medicine

The University of Kansas Health System is committed to providing safe care of the highest quality to our patients and committed to improving the patient experience and satisfaction with the care we deliver.  Quality Improvement and Patient Safety are at the core of realizing this mission.  Further details about the health system focus on quality can be found at

Within this vision, the Internal Medicine Department's Quality Improvement and Patient Safety education goals prioritize the development of a culture of continuous improvement and safety awareness. Some of our current initiatives are outlined below.

IM Quality and Safety Educational Steering Team (QueST)

The Quality and Safety Educational Steering Committee serves to coordinate and communicate quality improvement and patient safety efforts within the residency program, department of internal medicine and health system domains by bringing together members of leadership from each.  The committee facilitates project and research initiatives and provides direction to resident education all around quality and safety. Additionally, this team supports resident education and system communication around patient safety by reviewing root cause analysis (RCA) investigation reports. The work of this team is enhanced by contribution and participation from resident members. 

Patient Safety Conference Planning Committee (PSC)

The Patient Safety Conference Planning Committee's chief role is to plan the recurring departmental Patient Safety Conference. The committee is made up of residency program leadership, chief residents and faculty representatives across the patient care spectrum from critical care to ambulatory to post-acute facility care.  The residency program leads this conference in a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) format with audience participation in development of the Ishikawa (fishbone) diagram for each event. Residents aid in selecting and presenting cases as well as analyzing the case with utilization of the Vanderbilt Matrix.

Quality / Safety Elective Experience

This unique resident elective offers 1-2 weeks of emersion exposure to quality and safety efforts at The University of Kansas Health System (TUKHS). Residents are given access to attend institutional quality and safety meetings with a member of TUKHS leadership, perform a root cause analysis (RCA), and consider other quality improvement / patient safety scholarship efforts. Quality / Safety Elective.


The Department of Medicine's quality improvement and patient safety education program goals prioritize fostering the development of a culture continuous self - directed learning with respect to the quality of care they provide. Quality Improvement terminology and initiatives are introduced to residents as early as PGY1 orientation. 

Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School

Resident physicians at the University of Kansas Medical Center participate in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement "Open School" curriculum for quality improvement. Modules required of Internal Medicine Residents are linked here: and include:

· QI 101: Introduction to Health Care Improvement

• QI 102: How to Improve with the Model for Improvement

• QI 103: Testing and Measuring Changes with PDSA Cycles

• QI 104: Interpreting Data: Run Charts, Control Charts, and other Measurement Tools

• QI 105: Leading Quality Improvement

Friday School

Each year residents participate in a Quality Improvement and Patient Safety "Friday School" small group learning session.  Actively incorporating the knowledge and principals of the IHI curriculum into and understanding of implications in everyday practice. During this experience residents will also complete an RCA on a patient safety case.

Patient Safety Reporting

As part of our commitment to reducing harm to patients, residents are oriented to our patient safety event reporting system immediately upon arrival and encouraged on the importance of event reporting.  Residency program leaders are involved in the review of safety events and actively foster educational loop closure. Residents are involved in patient safety event investigations and review of final incident reports as we know that experiential learning is essential to patient safety competence development.

Last modified: Oct 09, 2019