(ATHENS, Ohio — Aug. 21, 2014) The Ohio University Heritage College
of Osteopathic Medicine has received a grant to study how
osteopathic medical schools incorporate lessons about quality
improvement into the curriculum. The study is a collaborative effort
between three universities and the research office for the Heritage
College’s Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE).
CORE is a statewide consortium of teaching hospitals in Ohio.
Quality improvement initiatives have become commonplace in health
care delivery systems, as medical providers are held more
accountable for their performance. These initiatives typically
require health teams, including physicians, to collect measureable
information related to a patient’s care, combine that data with
other information and evaluate results to identify ways to improve
A pilot study conducted by Heritage College graduate Jessica
O’Mara (’14) and the CORE Research Office provided early evidence
suggesting there may be a need for medical schools to make quality
improvement a core competency. This study served as the basis for
the grant proposal submitted to the American Association of Colleges
of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM).
“Our pilot study indicated that medical students enter their
residencies with limited or no exposure to measurement techniques
and procedures used in quality improvement initiatives, and they
have little knowledge about the terminology that is commonly used to
discuss quality improvement,” said Grace Brannan, Ph.D., CORE
research executive director at the Heritage College and principal
investigator on the study.
The 18-month investigation begins this fall on the campuses of
the Heritage College, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine,
Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine at Pikeville University and
A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The study will look at the extent to which quality improvement is
featured as an essential body of knowledge. Depending on the
results, recommendations may be made to strengthen the curriculum
with additional quality improvement training.
“Health care is undergoing tremendous transformation. So, studies
like this are critical if medical education is to stay relevant and
current. We continually search for opportunities to make our program
even stronger with the goal of preparing our students for a
successful career in medicine,” said Heritage College Executive Dean
Kenneth H. Johnson, D.O.
This is the sixth consecutive year that the CORE Research Office
has received funding from AACOM to conduct medical education
research. The CORE Research Office offers research education,
training and support for students, residents and interns, and CORE
The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is a
leader in training dedicated primary care physicians who are
prepared to address the most pervasive medical needs in the state
and the nation. Approximately 50 percent of Heritage College alumni
practice in primary care and nearly 60 percent practice in Ohio.
CARE LEADS HERE.