Patient Safety/Quality Improvement Clerkship

Publication ID Published Volume
388 March 4, 2009 5


E-learning is not just about dry purely textual content. It's about interaction and fun. The content is communicated through the interaction and engagement of the learner through practice. It was learned that design and development of this e-learning product was time and resource intensive but that the benefits have been significant in terms of reusability, access, and consistency. It is important to consider the following:

  1. Flux in personnel at hospital and clinic sites, usually due to promotions, made assignment of 149 students to projects a moving target and contributed to student frustration. Sometimes projects were completed, while others never got off the ground. Thus, team leaders and coaches will be contacted one week prior to Clerkship Orientation to verify availability.
  2. Students experienced time constraints related to schedules and responsibilities of their clinical rotations and project team meetings. Students also were distracted by travel and interviews for their residency positions. Thus, in the next year we will offer the Clerkship to M3 students who are interested in starting early, with the expectation of moving the Clerkship into the M3 year and later into preclinical years. Clerkship faculty will create a policy to address student concerns about team meetings that conflict with clinical responsibilities, e.g., clinic and hospital duties.
  3. Students who take the project seriously are adding it to their CV for residency application.
  4. Some sites require IRB and HIPAA training to participate in a QI project. This delayed some students' participation. Thus, we are requiring pre-clerkship online IRB and HIPAA training for all students.
  5. Students who take "away electives" for more than one to two months are unable to participate fully in the team project; thus, these students may be required to choose the 4-wk. block experience.
  6. Team leaders and coaches will be oriented in more detail to the expectations of the clerkship. The difference between team leader and coach will be clarified, although some individuals may continue to fulfill both roles.


Lohr K, Peppler R, Duhig J, Schlappy D. Patient safety/quality improvement clerkship. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2009;5:388.

Educational Objectives

  1. To be able to describe STEEEP Principles as outlined in "Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century."
  2. To be able to discuss importance of improvement in both performance and process in practice and health care.
  3. To be able to identify weaknesses in the health care delivery system and medical errors encountered during clinical training.
  4. To be able to work as members of the health care team to develop and/or perform a study and make recommendations for improving the health care delivery system.
  5. To be able to prepare a report and/or give a project presentation describing the problem and process for improving performance.


  • STEEEP Principles, Healthcare Delivery

Prior Scholarly Dissemination


  1. PS/QI Clerkship for 4th Year Medical Students: Why Now? American Society for Quality/Greater Memphis Association for Quality/Tennessee Association for Healthcare Quality Region I Mid-South Regional Conference, November 1, 2005

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