Partnerships for Quality Education

Dates of Program: April 1999 through January 2009

Field of Work: Aligning the training of physicians and nurse practitioners with the demands of 21st-century clinical practice.

Problem Synopsis: In the 1990s, managed care became one of the dominant forces in health care. Physicians and nurse practitioners (NP's) were expected to know how to manage patients' health, often within a fixed budget. Although care was increasingly taking place in outpatient settings, physicians continued to receive most of their training in hospitals rather than in ambulatory care centers. They also received little training in preventive care, or in interprofessional collaboration.

Synopsis of the Work: Partnerships for Quality Education (PQE), was initially funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts (during which time it focused on physicians only) and then by RWJF (which expanded it to include NP's). The program sought to improve a core set of skills in physicians and nurse practitioners, including interprofessional collaboration, chronic illness management, systems-based care and practice-based quality.

Key Results

PQE consisted of four distinct programs. Selected key results for each—according to national program staff and/or the program's evaluators—are listed below:

  • The Partnerships Program (1999–2001) prepared primary care medical residents and nurse practitioner students for practice in managed care settings. Training programs increased on average from 11 to 15 the number of managed care competencies they addressed; this had been identified as central to effective practice.
  • Collaborative Interprofessional Team Education (CITE) (2000–03) supported the development of clinical and educational interventions to teach individuals from medicine, nursing, social work and pharmacy to work collaboratively in teams.
  • Take Care to Learn: Teaching Clinical Care Management (TCTL) (2002–03) supported the development of chronic illness management initiatives in asthma and diabetes to serve as platforms for innovative education in managing care.
  • Achieving Competency Today (ACT) (2003–06) supported multi-disciplinary education in systems-based practice and clinical practice improvement. It led to a separate effort managed by the University of Virginia. Medical residents and nurse practitioner students participated in a four-module self-directed course that is delivered via the Web.