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Boot camp aimed at quality improvement

Medical students and nursing interns from UT Southwestern Medical Center, along with engineering students from UT Arlington, took part in a Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS) Boot Camp this summer.

Incoming UT Southwestern Medical School students
Incoming UT Southwestern Medical School students went through QIPS Boot Camp, then continued to apply those skills throughout the summer for “live” Quality Improvement and Patient Safety projects.

The June training, offered through UT Southwestern’s Office of Quality, Safety, and Outcomes Education, was a five-day course developed to educate first-year medical students in basic concepts of quality improvement so that they could complete projects at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Children’s Medical Center Dallas, and UT Southwestern settings. By offering the instruction across clinical providers and technical groups, the program provided learning opportunities about health care quality improvement and problem-solving in an interprofessional setting.

“The goal of this educational pilot was to introduce students to the advantages of working in interprofessional teams to solve problems of health care delivery,” said Dr. W. Gary Reed, Associate Dean for Quality, Safety, and Outcomes Education, Chief Quality Officer of UT Southwestern Hospitals & Clinics, and Professor of Internal Medicine.

Teams of students and interns
Teams of students and interns worked together on projects during the QIPS Boot Camp.

Boot camp participants were divided into five-person teams. Each team was given a virtual project to work on during the week while being trained on topics such as quality improvement (QI) methodology, tools and terminology, and data collecting and analysis. On June 12, each team presented its QI virtual project.

Following the camp, UT Southwestern faculty physicians sponsored “live” QIPS projects that the medical students worked on through early August. Students were mentored and supervised by the physician faculty project sponsors and faculty quality officers, and supported throughout the summer project work by program advisers in the Office of Quality, Safety, and Outcomes Education.

The training was developed by a committee comprised of Dr. Reed; Dr. Jason Fish, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine; Dr. Paul Componation, Chairman and Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at UT Arlington; and Dr. Robert Hendler, Chief Quality and Safety Officer for Parkland Health & Hospital System. Other committee members, all from UT Southwestern, were Patrice Griffith, Director of Quality, Safety, and Outcomes Education; Eleanor Phelps, Director of Nursing Quality Improvement; Patty Brown, Quality Improvement Program Coordinator; Mary Baldwin, Manager of Quality Improvement Programs; and Virginia Pineda-Dow, administrative associate in the Office of Quality, Safety, and Outcomes Education.


Dr. Reed holds the S.T. Harris Family Distinguished Chair in Internal Medicine, named in his honor; the Eva A. Rosenthal Professorship in Internal Medicine, also in his honor; and the Sinor/Pritchard (Katy Sinor and Kay Pritchard) Professorship in Medical Education Honoring Donald W. Seldin, M.D.