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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Assessing EM Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Milestones Using a Novel Debate Format


Graduate medical education is increasingly focused on patient safety and quality improvement; training programs must adapt their curriculum to address these changes. We propose a novel curriculum for emergency medicine (EM) residency training programs specifically addressing patient safety, systems-based management, and practice-based performance improvement, called “EM Debates.” Following implementation of this educational curriculum, we performed a cross-sectional study to evaluate the curriculum through resident self-assessment. Additionally, a cross-sectional study to determine the ED clinical competency committee’s (CCC) ability to assess residents on specific competencies was performed. Residents were overall very positive towards the implementation of the debates. Of those participating in a debate, 71% felt that it improved their individual performance within a specific topic, and 100% of those that led a debate felt that they could propose an evidence-based approach to a specific topic. The CCC found that it was easier to assess milestones in patient safety, systems-based management, and practice-based performance improvement (sub-competencies 16, 17, and 19) compared to prior to the implementation of the debates. The debates have been a helpful venue to teach EM residents about patient safety concepts, identifying medical errors, and process improvement.

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