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Quality improvement training: experiences of frontline staff.

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  • 1Department of Health Policy & Management, Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.



Healthcare organizations have employed numerous strategies to promote quality improvement (QI) initiatives, yet little is known about their effectiveness. In 2008, staff in one organization developed an in-house QI training program designed for frontline managers and staff and this article aims to report employee perspectives.


Qualitative interviews were conducted with 22 course participants to examine satisfaction, self-assessed change in proficiency and ability to successfully engage with QI initiatives. Sampling bias may have occurred as the participants volunteered for the study and they may not represent all course participants. Recall bias is also possible since most interviews took place one year after the course was completed to assess long-term impact. Respondents were asked to self-rate their pre- and post-course knowledge and skill, which may not represent what was actually learned.


Informants reported that the course expanded their QI knowledge and skills, and that supervisor support for the course was essential for success. Additionally, the course QI project provided participants with an opportunity to translate theory into practice, which has the potential to influence patient outcomes.


Several lessons for future QI training can be gleaned from this evaluation, including respondent opinions that it is challenging to offer one program when participants have different QI knowledge levels before the course begins, that "booster sessions" or refresher classes after the course ends would be helpful and that supervisor support was critical to successful QI-initiative implementation.


This study conducts in-depth interviews with QI course participants to elicit staff feedback on program structure and effectiveness. These findings can be used by QI educators to disseminate more effective training programs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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