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Resources for Quality & Safety Education

The Department of Graduate Medical Education at the University of Pennsylvania Health System is committed to teaching our trainees how to deliver high quality patient care in a supportive learning environment. Important components of this training include being able to understand how to safely practice within the complexities of our healthcare system and reflecting upon and knowing how to improve the quality of care that we deliver to our patients as individuals and teams.

Quality and Safety Education Toolkit
The material on this webpage is designed for program directors or any faculty member seeking to teach any of these topics to interns, residents, or fellows. Clicking on any link will provide you with more information on how to get started, power-points that can be used or adapted, or other resources designed to educate trainees in these areas. If you have any questions about the material on this website or are looking for something that you cannot find, please contact Jennifer Myers MD at
UPHS has an institutional subscription to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) online teaching modules in Quality Improvement (QI) & Patient Safety (PS). These modules are collectively referred to as "IHI Open School" and are the most widely used QI/PS modules among teachers and learners of this field nationally. With 20 modules organized by content area, the mission of the IHI Open School is to advance health care improvement and safety competencies in the next generation of health care professionals. Each module is interactive with case studies, videos, and post-tests with the ability to track & print out certificates of completion. To persue the website:

Instructions for you or your trainees to log-onto the site to complete the modules.
Program Directors' Guide to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Open School Modules

We are fortunate at Penn, to have several experts in QI/PS. These individuals all have quality and safety experience in healthcare and experience teaching the content to new learners. Listed below are the names of some of these individuals. All of these individuals have kindly agreed to serve as a resource for lectures or project consultation in your training program. You should feel free to contact them.
  • Lee Erickson MD; Family Medicine; Chief Quality & Patient Safety Officer, PPMC
  • Scott Falk MD; Anesthesiology; Director of Performance Improvement, Quality, & Safety
  • Patricia Harris; Process Improvement Specialist; HUP
  • Christopher Klock Performance Improvement Consultant, HUP
  • Jennifer Myers MD; Internal Medicine; Associate DIO for Quality and Safety, Graduate Medical Education
  • Michael Posencheg MD; Neonatology; Medical Director Intensive Care Nursery & Newborn Nursery, HUP
Penn Medicine has created a Quality Data Mart (QDM) which is an electronic, real-time dashboard of our inpatient quality metrics that can be customized at the unit, department, service line, and provider level. Quality metrics that are available in the QDM include mortality, readmissions, healthcare associated infections, patient satisfaction scores, the Joint Commission Core Measures, Patient Safety Indicators, and venous thromboembolism events, with more enhancements being made on a continuous basis. We encourage and welcome you to use this data in quality and safety curricula with residents and fellows.

For more information about how to access the QDM, please contact CEQI QDM Support in the Department of CEQI. An EPIC based dashboard for outpatient quality metrics is coming soon.

Programs that wish to receive and review the reports that their trainees submit, can obtain access to these reports by contacting Luther Kay in CEQI. Follow-up for these reports is managed by our risk managers and quality/safety personnel at the unit, practice, or department level. If you are unsure who this person is for your area or program or have any problems accessing safety net data on the program level, please let us know.
Getting residents and fellows engaged in quality improvement and patient safety activities means more than just listening to a lecture or completing a module. Below are a few activities that you could consider incorporating into your program curriculum in order to increase engagement. Some programs are doing one or more of these activities already. Participation in these activities will also assist you in documenting the milestones for systems-based practice and practice-based learning and improvement for your specialty. We strongly suggest that you collaborate with and seek input from the faculty in your department that lead quality and safety efforts and/or the quality/safety project manager (or related personnel) who works with CEQI to assist with quality in your area. If you do not know who this person/people are, please contact Jen.
Patient Safety
  1. Review one or more patient safety net reports at a resident or fellowship program meeting. This could be a report submitted by one of your trainees or one related to their practice. Whenever possible, be prepared with next steps or follow-up to share.
  2. Identify a preventable adverse event or "near miss/close call" event and dissect the event using safety tools with your residents or fellows. Even if the event was already reviewed by the department, hospital, or QI group, reviewing the event with housestaff can lead to new insights and help to disseminate the improvement ideas. It can sometimes even get housestaff interested in leading one of the ideas for change with a faculty member.
  3. Have one or more trainees review the medical records for patients with morbidity or mortality to identify opportunities for improvement. This can be both a learning opportunity and a service to the division or department. Upper level residents and fellows are often highly qualified for and interested in this task.
Quality Improvement
  1. Download the ACP Curriculum on High Value, Cost Conscious Care and dedicate a resident teaching session to the material and discussion. The curriculum can be found here including Powerpoint slides and activity ideas.
  2. Review clinical quality data metrics with your residents. This can be department or division level data, unit or clinic level data, or data at the provider level. Individual or small group discussion can be a time to review, reflect, and identify areas for self-improvement or practice improvement. See Access to Quality Data section above.
  3. Identify one problem in your clinical area that needs to be improved (this could be a safety/quality problem or process that needs to be redesigned to improve the quality or value of care). Design a residency/fellowship program project around this problem using QI methods and tools with all trainees participating in some part of it. This will require faculty mentorship and/or someone skilled in QI methods to help (see resources above).
Within each tile below you will find powerpoint lectures, activities, and articles designed for use with residents. Any of the powerpoints can be modified and tailored to meet the clinical context of your specialty and needs of your trainees. Click on a tile below to launch the materials in a new window.


Quality Improvement

Handoffs & Transitions

High-Value, Cost Conscious Care

Healthcare Disparities
Learn the principles of medical error analysis, human factors, safety culture, and medical error disclosure Learn the basic steps of how to define, scope, and understand a quality improvement problem in healthcare Learn the principles of safe handoff communication

Help learners develop practice habits of high-value, cost conscious care

Learn about the gaps in healthcare across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups

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