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Heritage College Receives Funding for Quality Improvement Training Study

(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 patient outcomes.

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 faculty.

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.

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Last updated: 01/28/2016