Clinical and Research Curriculum

The Quality Scholars Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center includes:

  1. Strong methodological training in health services research and quality improvement methods (including quality improvement research methods of study design and analysis, planned experimentation in complex systems, statistical process control and product and process design.
  2. Series of mentored research / improvement projects
  3. Exposure to a wide range of high-impact areas of study including innovation in nonhealthcare industry settings
  4. Mentoring for career development
  5. Leadership training and multidisciplinary team work

The training period will be three years. The duration of the training program may be reduced if a candidate already has an MS, MPH, PhD or DrPH in epidemiology or other relevant field.

Formal Coursework

The Master of Science in Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP) at the University of Cincinnati will provide one important foundational element of the program. Most are likely to select the clinical epidemiology / clinical effectiveness track. All scholars will take the health services research course that is part of the clinical epidemiology / clinical effectiveness track.

All scholars will participate in sequenced training in quality-improvement methods through participation in several courses and mentored projects.

Intermediate Improvement Science Series

The course is designed to prepare quality-improvement leaders to practice, teach and lead improvement efforts. Led by Uma Kotagal and Gerry Kaminksi, DA, participants are expected to complete an improvement project and achieve improvement in outcome and / or process measures to demonstrate competence in improvement science. The course takes place in six two-day sessions. The heterogeneous cohort of participants across institutional roles stimulates interaction and learning and instantiates the focus on understanding the Cincinnati Children’s healthcare organization as a system.

Advanced Improvement Methods Seminar

This course, led by Maria Britto, Peter Margolis and Lloyd Provost, MS, teaches physician- and doctoral-level faculty advanced improvement methods, including advanced use of control charts and the design and analysis of complex factorial experiments, to stimulate the use of more advanced methods and prepare faculty to undertake quality-of-care research. The seminar also involves application of these methods to a specific project. The goal is to produce faculty expert in quality-improvement methods who can apply and teach advanced methods. The course is offered as four two-day sessions over a one-year period.

Each scholar will be involved in a series of mentored health services or quality-improvement research experience. Scholars will develop the projects in collaboration with their mentor and other advisers. Attention will be devoted to ensuring that each project is manageable, with a high likelihood of successful completion, and that it contains elements of design, implementation and analysis that make it an appropriate vehicle for training.

Scholars will participate in at least two improvement projects aimed at the direct application of quality-improvement methods in clinical and public health settings: one as part of the intermediate improvement methods course; and one advanced, using formal methods of planned experimentation during the advanced improvement methods session. A full range of ongoing improvement projects are available through Cincinnati Children’s and partnering organizations.

Scholars will be expected to produce a thesis for a graduate degree and manuscripts based on their research that are suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Mentoring will play a key role in the program because it is as important to embarking on a successful research career as is didactic coursework. Each incoming scholar will be assisted by the director and core faculty in identifying a small team of mentors, typically three or four faculty members who will comprise the Scholarship Oversight Committee. These mentor teams will consist of an academic adviser from within the Quality Scholars Program, the scholar’s division director or designee, a primary research mentor, and one or two other faculty selected by the student.
Quality Scholars will participate in relevant leadership training courses offered through Cincinnati Children’s education and training such as the leadership foundations or change leader courses.

Quality Scholars Conference

A bi-weekly conference will enable fellows to present their research and improvement projects in the early phase of their development and to gain exposure to the process of developing research and improvement ideas.

Health Services Research and Quality-Improvement Research Conference

This bi-weekly conference is an opportunity for faculty and fellows interested in quality-improvement research to seek the input of their colleagues on new ideas and projects at various stages of development.

Other Conferences

Other conferences and meetings that provide opportunities for scholars to deepen their understanding of quality-improvement methods include:

  1. The quarterly CHILD Workshops, which provide an opportunity for leadership review of all major improvement initiatives within the institution. Lloyd Provost, MS, and Thomas Nolan, PhD, internationally respected experts in quality improvement, lead these sessions
  2. The annual Cincinnati Children’s Quality Summit, an invitational two-day meeting for institutions interested in quality improvement to share results about their initiatives
  3. The Cincinnati Conference on Innovations in Health Care, which brings together individuals across the medicine-business-engineering spectrum to discuss improvements in systems and process analysis, OR / patient flow, clinical innovation management, automation and expert systems and advanced analytical techniques
  4. Tipping Point – a monthly hospital-wide book review and journal club focused on improvement