Quality Improvement Track | Department of Internal Medicine | UC Davis Health

Quality Improvement Track

Quality Improvement (QI) has gained increasing focus in residency training over the last 15 years. After graduation, nearly all internists are involved in QI efforts where they work, regardless of specialty. Many residents are interested in taking a more active role in this QI work, including leading projects now and in their future careers.

The goal of the QI Track is to expand upon the residents’ knowledge and skills in QI, patient safety, hospital efficiency and function, system redesign, and leadership skills. Interested residents apply during the spring of their first or second year, and will then complete the track during their second or third year of residency.

Residents in the QI Track meet regularly with our QI faculty and key hospital/department administrators to build these skills. Track activities include:

  • Completing a 2-week workshop in QI at the start of the academic year. The Track residents will work with key members of UC Davis Quality and Safety Department, Internal Medicine Quality and Safety Leadership, and UC Davis Hospital Medicine and Primary Care Faculty. Mentors are also available at Kaiser, the VA, and in subspecialty settings to develop QI projects that will then be completed over the course of the academic year.
  • Planning and implementing a quality improvement project.
  • Participating on select hospital committees relevant to interests or projects.
  • Meeting with an assigned faculty mentor and QI expert from our department QI leaders to guide them on their project and other activities, as well as mentor them on future career options.
  • Partnering with a clinical faculty mentor for guidance completing the clinical QI project.
  • Presenting the results of their QI project at the UC Davis Annual Healthcare Quality Forum, Internal Medicine Academic Forum, Morbidity/Mortality/Quality and Safety meeting, or Internal Medicine Grand Rounds.
  • Residents have also presented at other regional/national meetings (e.g. ACP) and have been awarded grants for their projects.

The residents participating in the QI track utilize creativity, problem solving, teamwork, gap/error analysis, process mapping, and data gathering, to build a lifelong skill set as they tackle their very own QI projects.

Examples of some of the projects that UC Davis QI Track residents have completed include:

  • Projects with high impact
    • Standardizing signout
    • Improving medicine reconciliation
    • Reducing readmissions
    • Increasing depression screening in ambulatory setting
  • Projects with high value
    • Reducing ordering of unnecessary daily labs
    • Targeting unnecessary telemetry usage
    • Improving access to care for multi visit patients
  • Projects influencing patient experience
    • Increasing POLST completion rates in the outpatient setting
    • Improving primary care assurance at transition of care
    • Increasing the patients who are offered treatment for alcohol use disorder
    • Improving communication for non-English speaking patients
  • Projects influencing residency experience
    • Improving intern pre-rounding efficiency
    • Improving clinical documentation in the outpatient setting