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Making it Easy for Family Medicine Physicians and Pediatricians to Learn Quality Improvement

By Don Goldmann | Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Quality Improvement for Pediatricians and Family Medicine Physicians

There is a growing consensus that improvement science is critical to providing quality care. 

If you want to get results — if you really want to make a difference — you have to know how to improve. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to make change because you’re passionate about improving care, only to flail about because you don’t have the right knowledge and tools to effect change.

But learning improvement is a big investment in time and resources. I know firsthand that most physicians are busy people who are often asked to do too much. Health systems often pile on new work without respecting the stress that clinicians are under, or the amount of work they can realistically do well. 

That’s why I’m very pleased to share the news that board-certified family medicine doctors and pediatricians can now earn Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 2 activity points for learning quality improvement skills through the IHI Open School. The beauty of this partnership with the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Family Medicine is that this QI training now counts toward something that physicians already have to do, and Open School modules are particularly user-friendly for busy clinicians. The courses, which are entirely online and on demand, teach practical skills in short, digestible bites. And the IHI Open School is working with more boards to offer points in other specialties, as well. 

It is disheartening when I see clinicians who have great ideas and want to improve, but haven’t been taught the skills to put their ideas in action. By approving Open School courses for activity points, these boards are making quality improvement skills much easier to acquire. It’s a great investment. In the long term, these physicians will be more satisfied in their work because they can do what they went into health care to accomplish without wasting time at failed attempts. 

I hope that this quality improvement training proves as valuable to these physicians as it is for me and my students. We’d love your feedback on the modules; please send your thoughts to openschool@ihi.org.

Don Goldmann, MD, is the Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Click here to read more about the Open School courses that now count toward MOC Part 2 activity points. Open School courses are available to professionals for a modest annual subscription.

Try out a sample Open School course for free here — QI 102: The Model for Improvement: Your Engine for Change.

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