Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative Leads Physicians in Understanding Quality Improvement Strategies for Health Care

For the second straight year, Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative's (PRHI's) Jennifer Condel, manager of Lean Healthcare Strategy; and Bruce Block, MD, shared their expertise in quality improvement techniques with two cohorts of physicians seeking to develop executive leadership skills. Health Care Quality, part of the Master of Medical Management for Physicians Program offered through Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, challenges practitioners to think about their work within health care in a more structured, systems-focused way.

Twenty-seven physicians from across the United States were introduced to the concept of A3 thinking, drawn from PRHI's lauded Perfecting Patient CareSM curriculum, concentrating on the physician's role in implementing and sustaining a Lean quality improvement culture through alignment of strategic goals and application of collaborative approaches to systematic problem solving.

The four-week online course is structured with a flipped-classroom model, combining asynchronous virtual learning experience with weekly Zoom sessions and online discussions. Condel and Dr. Block guide experienced clinicians in developing techniques to both lead quality improvement efforts and support staff within their organizations currently involved in quality improvement efforts. Those new to QI culture and those with some familiarity with it find new ways to apply Lean approaches in the real-world setting while developing skills in observation of work, data analysis, and process mapping. The course culminates in students submitting a final essay or video describing how they intend to incorporate the learned concepts into their work as physician leaders. 

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