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A Design Thinking Approach Will Engage Obstetrics and Gynecology Residents in Quality Improvement Education
Purpose: To incorporate design thinking methods in quality
improvement curricula to generate impactful patient interventions and
enhance resident satisfaction.
Background: Incorporating a meaningful quality improvement (QI)
experience into an already overloaded residency training program is challenging.
We applied the principles of design thinking to a QI curriculum to inspire
residents (“users”) to develop patient-centered QI projects.
Methods: Starting in 2017, residents at an academic medical
center were introduced to QI grounded in the Model for Improvement. The
experiential component was implemented using a five phase Design Thinking
process (Empathy, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test). Data were obtained from
ACGME surveys and patient outcomes. Chi square was used to compare yearly
trends in resident satisfaction; patient outcomes were analyzed using an
independent t test. P< 0.05 was significant.
Results: Since introduction of the QI curriculum, we have had
100% resident involvement (increase from 83%, P< .05 ) and collaboratively
generated QI interventions that improved patient outcomes and enhanced resident
engagement. One initiative increased postpartum visit adherence in a high-risk
population from 21% to 63% (P< .01). An initiative addressing prenatal
tobacco use in resident clinics produced a state-funded $53,000 grant to screen
and treat pregnant smokers. Overall satisfaction with the residency increased
by 64% between 2017-2019 (P< .05)
Discussions: Design thinking can be integrated into graduate
medical education. Although this curriculum was initially implemented to meet
ACGME QI project requirements, we found that a design thinking approach
empowers residents with the knowledge, creativity and problem-solving skills to
design impactful QI initiatives while simultaneously enhancing resident
CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2020, Resident, Faculty, Osteopathic Faculty, Residency Director, Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, Practice-Based Learning & Improvement, GME, Quality & Safety, Public Health, Advocacy, General Ob-Gyn,