In addition to engaging in quality improvement research projects and experiential learning opportunities at their sites, VAQS fellows complete a 2-year, longitudinal national curriculum during their quality improvement fellowship. The VA Quality Scholars Fellowship curriculum consists of four courses – Quality Improvement Core, Methods and Analysis, Leading Healthcare Improvement, and Career and Scholarship. Each week the curriculum is presented through our virtual platform to VAQS sites throughout North America.
QI Core & Fellows Forum
The goal of this course is to develop interprofessional leaders with the foundational knowledge required to improve quality in healthcare systems. In this course, fellows are introduced to the core models, theories, and frameworks for healthcare improvement by national and international leaders. As part of this course, fellows have an opportunity to present their ongoing quality improvement projects to obtain feedback from peers and VAQS faculty across the country through the “Fellows’ Forum.”
Methods and Analysis
VAQS fellows must be proficient in leading and participating in quality improvement initiatives. In this course, fellows learn the applied improvement methods and analysis skills necessary to design, plan, implement, evaluate, manage, and sustain a QI project. Notable features of the VAQS Methods and Analysis Course include an emphasis on creating robust measures and data collection plans to support improvement, analyzing data using statistical process control charts, and applying implementation science frameworks and strategies to improvement work.
Career and Scholarship
As competent and confident leaders, VA Quality Scholar fellowship graduates develop skills to set and achieve personal learning goals that anticipate future professional needs. Fellows learn how to promote their own work and the work of others by developing skills in writing, publishing, and reviewing healthcare improvement scholarship. In addition, fellows develop skills to build careers in healthcare improvement though self-branding, effective interviewing, and negotiation. Through this course, fellows will also learn the skills of publishing and promoting their QI work, as well as forwarding their own career trajectory through self-branding, effective interviewing, and negotiation.
Leading Healthcare Improvement
The goal of this course is to shape VA Quality Scholars into leaders within their organizations. Fellows will acquire the necessary skills and content expertise to lead quality improvement projects and become agents of change. The practice-based, interactive sessions in the Leading Healthcare Improvement Course focus on using fellows’ current projects as hands-on learning for leadership skills. Fellows learn the steps to create a climate for change, bring together interprofessional teams, engage and enable institutions to change, and implement and sustain change.
Other Curricular Opportunities
Advanced Measurement Special Interest Group
VAQS fellows interested in further developing expertise in measurement and statistical process control have an opportunity to participate in the Advanced Measurement Special Interest Group. The Special Interest Group meets monthly to discuss an advanced topic in measurement and statistical process control, which is followed by structured measurement case consultation for works in progress. Examples of advanced topics covered in the Special Interest Group include: Cumulative Sum Charts, Exponentially Weighted Moving Average Charts, Multivariate Statistical Process Control Charts, and Statistical Process Control with regression generated center line.
Each session will have two 30 minute segments: (1) theory burst; and (2) case presentations.