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Training Global Healthcare Providers in Quality Improvement Methodologies for Enhanced Infection Prevention and Control Outcomes

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      Background

      Continuous quality improvement (QI) has become an essential process for healthcare in the United States. However, QI is still nascent in global healthcare settings and many healthcare providers are unfamiliar with QI methodology. We set out to provide training in QI to assist global healthcare providers in their efforts to impact infection prevention and control (IPC) at their institutions.

      Methods

      We designed a QI training program that incorporates the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) Methodology of Six Sigma and many Lean tools (e.g. PDSA, 5S, Visual Management, Kaizen). Over 6 months and 6 modules (Module 1: Introduction to QI, Module 2: Define, Module 3: Measure, Module 4: Analyze, Module 5: Improve & Lean Tools, and Module 6: Control) participants reviewed prerecorded seminars, attended bi-weekly online live sessions with an expert, workshopped QI tools and applied them to their own contexts, and completed pre- and post-tests.

      Results

      Knowledge gain was significant between pre-test and post-test for each module (p < 0.001) and the overall course (p < 0.001). Participants who attended the sessions either agreed or completely agreed that the content of each module was relevant to their daily practice (100%). Participants commented that “this is extremely helpful, but very challenging. This will give new tools [for] our practice” and “I'm hoping I can change the way I do things in my day to day, especially in the infection prevention and control committee”. Select individual reports indicate that participants have used QI methodology for better IPC program organization and performance, and for better healthcare delivery.

      Conclusions

      High post-test scores indicate that online training can be a successful venue for mentoring global healthcare providers in QI methodology. Participants expressed high appreciation for QI methodology and, though concepts were new and challenging, found it to open possibilities for improving processes and outcomes onsite.
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