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Implementing a Quality Improvement Faculty Path

Criteria include broadening promotion factors, considering publication alternatives

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new career pathway in academic medicine, termed clinicians in quality improvement, is a justified concept to achieve and recognize excellence in patient safety, according to a commentary published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Kaveh G. Shojania, M.D., of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and a colleague outline the career path and promotion criteria that they propose for faculty members who would participate in a quality improvement career path. Importantly, they argue that academic promotion criteria would need to be broadened to include activities related to quality improvement.

Publication of faculty efforts regarding quality improvement may prove difficult in major journals, the authors note. This is a major drawback, as the academic prowess of many faculty are determined in large part by a cycle of "plan, do, study, publish." Academic activity instead may be measured and documented through written assertions regarding the impact of the clinician and their activities outside of the institution, the receipt of awards, and dossiers to document teaching load and faculty roles.

"Excelling in quality improvement requires teachers and role models who promote the acquisition of relevant knowledge and skills in trainees, develop broader educational efforts outside the local institution, and lead research to advance the field," the authors write.

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