Mastering improvement science skills in the new era of quality and safety: the Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Program.

Estrada CA, Dolansky MA, Singh MK, Oliver BJ, Callaway-Lane C, Splaine M, Gilman S, Patrician PA.

Senior Scholar, Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Program, Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Professor of Medicine and Director, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and Assistant Professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA Co-Director, Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education and Director, Patient Based Programs, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and Associate Professor of Medicine, General Internal Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA Second Year Fellow, Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Program, White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center, White River Junction, Vermont, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Colby Sawyer College, New London and Instructor in Neurology, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Junior Faculty, Clinical Instructor, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and Pulmonary Nurse Practitioner, The VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville Campus, Nashville, Tennessee, USA Associate Professor of Medicine and Community and Family Medicine, Center for Leadership and Improvement, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA Director, Advanced Fellowships, VA Office of Academic Affiliations, Washington, DC, USA Senior Scholar, Veterans Affairs National Quality Scholars Program, Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Associate Professor of Nursing and Banton Endowed Professor, School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

Abstract

Rationale, aims and objectives  Healthcare professionals need a new skill set to ensure the success of quality improvement in healthcare. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) initiated the VA National Quality Scholars fellowship in 1998; its mission is to improve the quality of care, ensure safety, accelerate healthcare re-design, and advance the improvement science by educating the next generation of leaders in quality and safety. We describe the critical need for leadership in quality and safety and interprofessional education, illustrate the curriculum, provide lessons learned by fellows, summarize key lessons learned from the implementation of an interprofessional education approach, and present most recent accomplishments. Methods  Narrative review. Results  As of 2011, 106 program alumni are embedded in the health care delivery system across the United States. Since 2009, when nurse fellows joined the program, of the first nine graduating interdisciplinary fellows, the tailored curriculum has resulted in five advanced academic degrees, 42 projects, 29 teaching activities, 44 presentations, 36 publications, six grants funded or submitted, and two awards. Conclusions  The VA National Quality Scholars program continues to nurture and develop leaders for the new millennium focusing on interprofessional education. The nations' health care systems need strong interdisciplinary leaders in advanced quality improvement science who are dedicated to improving the overall quality of health and health care.

Published 2012. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.


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