Quality Improvement Training

Scanning the field and developing resources

Field of Work: Quality improvement training

Problem Synopsis: Quality improvement—the formal approach to the analysis of performance and systematic efforts to improve it—has been part of the U.S. health care landscape since the early 1980s. However, evidence suggests that training in quality improvement is not widespread, and that quality improvement still has not been universally adopted or uniformly implemented in health care systems.

Synopsis of the Work: The project team studied the state of the field of quality improvement training and supported efforts of RWJF's Human Capital Team to improve the field by developing online resources and programmatic options. RWJF’s Human Capital Team wanted to explore its options for helping build widespread proficiency in quality improvement theory and methods among health care workers.

Key Findings & Results: Researchers determined that although numerous quality improvement training options exist, learners are not well connected with these resources. They also found that training in quality improvement methods and tools does not necessarily assure long-term adoption by staff members. The researchers concluded that more effective incentives are needed to foster widespread adoption of quality improvement in health care.

The project team developed a prototype of an interactive website that would enable health care professionals interested in quality improvement research and training to connect with programs, informational resources, and colleagues in the field.

With assistance from the project team, RWJF developed a $2 million program Evidence for Improvement: Evaluating Quality Improvement Training (2008–2012). Six projects have been funded that are assessing quality improvement training.