Background: Pregnancy significantly increases the risk of VTEs in
women. In the US, pregnancy-related mortality has been increasing with deaths
due to VTEs representing a leading cause. To address this issue, a quality
improvement study was designed to increase rates of VTE risk assessment and appropriate
prophylaxis. By engaging medical students, they gain exposure to quality
improvement processes in the healthcare setting and improve their clinical
skills by counseling patients.
Methods: This study is part of a curriculum-wide integration of
all third-year medical students into departmental quality improvement projects
across the required clerkships. In the obstetrics and gynecology clerkship,
students calculated obstetric patients\' risk of VTEs. Students worked
with their teams to put in place appropriate prophylactic measures
and then provided patient counseling regarding the recommended
interventions. Medical students completed pre- and post-tests about their
VTE knowledge and a survey regarding their experience with the study.
Results: 94% of third-year medical students who had completed
their obstetrics and gynecology clerkship participated in this study. 76% of
these students responded to a survey about their participation. Of these
respondents, 92% reported participation had improved their understanding of
obstetric VTE prophylaxis, 77% reported they had gained confidence counseling
patients, and 69% reported having a better understanding of quality improvement
in the healthcare setting.
Discussions: This study demonstrates that medical students can be
engaged in a large-scale quality improvement initiative with the goal of
improving patient outcomes. In addition to advancing the success of a
departmental patient safety initiative, students reported increased medical
knowledge and clinical skills.
Keywords: QI student engagement