Central Region AQSI

Central Region AQSI

Central Region AQSI

Central Region AQSI is a seven-month professional development program designed to equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively lead quality improvement. It began as a collaboration among the Department of Medicine, the Masters Program in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety offered through the Center for Education in the Health Sciences, and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Performance Improvement Department, with the first cohort completing the program in spring 2013. Though initially offered only to the Department of Medicine, the program has expanded to invite applications from the Departments of Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, Surgery and Urology.

Program Details

Please explore the content and links below to learn more about the program structure and application details. If you have questions, comments, or would like to discuss the program in further detail, please contact program director Claire Knoten or central region medical directors Kevin O'Leary or Abra Fant.

Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Design a quality improvement intervention
  2. Implement a quality improvement intervention
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of quality improvement interventions

Credit Designation Statement
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine designates this live activity for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Disclosure Statement
The course directors of this activity Kevin O’Leary, MD/MS, and Abra Fant, MD,/MS, have nothing to disclose. The steering committee members Nikole Drever, MBA; Christopher Beach, MD; Mark Schumacher, MS; Aashish Didwania, MD; Jay Anderson, MBA; Michael Gisondi, MD; Matt Groth, RN; Jane Hall, MD/MPH; Gary Martin, MD; Patricia O’Sullivan, RN; Jessica Thurk; Diane Wayne, MD; Donna Woods, EdM,/PhD; Erin Lambers, PhD/MPH; and Claire Knoten, PhD/MS have nothing to disclose. Karl Bilimoria, MD/MS, has received research grant funding from the following sources ACS, ABS, ACGME, NIH, and AHRQ. Rajesh Keswani, MD/MS, receives consulting fees from Boston Scientific and Cook Endoscopy. FSM’s CME leadership and staff have nothing to disclose.

Accreditation Statement
The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AQSI combines the expertise of institutional programs and leaders to provide an interactive, supportive, efficient, and valuable learning experience. Program participants attend 11 classroom sessions, meeting approximately every other week, with each session focused on a quality improvement topic. Each year our classes begin in November and conclude in May. Key additional features of the program and participation include:

  • Open to all healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses, technicians, administrators, etc.) in the Departments of Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, Surgery, and Urology
  • No cost to apply or attend the program
  • Participants are accepted into the program through a competitive application process
  • Priority will be given for inter-professional team participation
  • Participants will complete a project during the program
  • Each project team will be paired with a clinical mentor and a quality improvement mentor
  • Projects will receive support in data acquisition and analysis
  • Dinner will be provided prior to each class as an opportunity for teams to meet with each other and invite their coaches and mentors
  • Participants will receive an AQSI Certificate upon completion of the program

Agenda

AQSI sessions will occur on Thursday evening's beginning at 6 pm, typically lasting until 7:30 pm. Dinner will be provided prior to each session, and we encourage participants to use the period from 5-6 pm as an opportunity to meet with their teams and invite their coaches and mentors. A sample agenda is listed below.

AQSI Central Region Agenda

The central region AQSI Program will accept applications from May to the end of June each year. The program will begin in November.

Step 1: Identify a project (and team)

Applicants to the program must propose a quality improvement project. Because quality improvement is a team effort, we strongly encourage quality improvement teams to apply. However, individual applications are also welcome. Please refer to the project proposal worksheet (see the Project Application Resources at the bottom of this web page) when planning your project. The questions on the worksheet will be asked of you in the formal, online application.

Step 2: Request a project application

Contact aqsi@nm.org to obtain access to the online application in which you will propose a quality improvement project. You will receive an e-mail containing a link to the application. If applying as a team, designate one person to complete the project application.

Step 3: Complete the project application

When completing the project application, be prepared to:

  • Upload your CV or resume (if applying on behalf of a team, upload only your own CV or resume)
  • Create and upload a process map (you may create this in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or another program) that identifies the major steps of the existing workflow for the process you intend to improve. It should present a high-level overview of the work process (i.e., 4-10 steps) and need not be too detailed. Do not propose a new or ideal work process; just document the existing workflow as you currently understand it.
  • Upload a letter of support for your project. The letter should come from an appropriate leader in your division/practice/setting endorsing your project and granting access to resources needed to complete the project (e.g., time, data sources).
  • Upload a letter of support for your individual participation in the program. The letter should come from an appropriate leader in your division/practice/setting and state that you will be given the necessary time and support needed to complete the program. (If applying on behalf of a team, upload only a letter for yourself).
  • If applying on behalf of a team, please provide the names, team roles, and contact information (email addresses and phone numbers) for your team members.

Note: You do not have to complete the project application at one time. You may save a partially completed application.

Step 4 (for team applications only): Team members complete supplementary applications

All team members named in the project application who wish to attend the AQSI training will be contacted to complete a supplementary individual application. Team applications will not be complete until each team member has completed an individual application. Each team member will receive an e-mail with a link to the supplementary application and should be prepared to:

  • Upload your CV or resume
  • Upload a letter of support for your individual participation in the program. The letter should come from an appropriate leader in your division/practice/setting and state that you will be given the necessary time and support needed to complete the program.

Note: You do not have to complete the application at one time. You may save a partially completed application.

Proposal Resources

Pre-view Application Questions

Before completing the online project application, you may wish to develop your answers on the worksheet at the link above. Below is a list of the questions you will be asked when proposing your project. Please limit your responses to 150 words or less.

  1. What is the focus of your project (e.g., DVT prophylaxis, improved patient satisfaction, increased access)?
  2. In what division/practice/unit will you base your project activities?
  3. Create and upload a process map (you may create this in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or another program) that identifies the major steps of the existing workflow for the process you intend to improve. It should present a high-level overview of the work process (i.e., 4-10 steps) and need not be too detailed. Do not propose a new or ideal work process; just document the existing workflow as you currently understand it.
  4. What information technology systems, (e.g., PowerChart, Epic, etc.) if any, are important in the workflow process that you have drawn? List each and explain its role.
  5. Do you have support and/or permission from the appropriate leaders?
  6. What is known about current performance?
  7. What makes you believe that improvement is needed in this area?
  8. What data and measures are available to assess performance and drivers of poor performance?
  9. How will you know if efforts to improve performance have been successful?
  10. What interventions have been tried in the past?
  11. What is known about barriers to improving performance?
  12. What tentative interventions/actions are planned?
  13. Do you have the resources needed to implement tentative interventions/actions?
  14. What is the timeline for the planned project?
  15. How might improvements be sustained over the long term?