PURPOSE: Quality improvement (QI) requires measurement, but medical schools rarely provide opportunities for students to measure their patient outcomes. The authors tested the feasibility and perceived impact of a quality metric report card as part of an Education-Centered Medical Home longitudinal curriculum. METHOD: Student teams were embedded into faculty practices and assigned a panel of patients to follow longitudinally. Students performed retrospective chart reviews and reported deidentified data on 30 nationally endorsed QI metrics for their assigned patients. Scorecards were created for each clinic team. Students completed pre/post surveys on self-perceived QI skills. RESULTS: A total of 405 of their patients' charts were abstracted by 149 students (76% response rate; mean 2.7 charts/student). Median abstraction time was 21.8 (range: 13.1-37.1) minutes. Abstracted data confirmed that the students had successfully recruited a high-risk patient panel. Initial performance on abstracted quality measures ranged from 100% adherence on the use of beta-blockers in postmyocardial infarction patients to 24% on documentation of dilated diabetic eye exams. After the chart abstraction assignment, grand rounds, and background readings, student self-assessment of their perceived QI skills significantly increased for all metrics, though it remained low. CONCLUSIONS: Creation of an actionable health care quality report card as part of an ambulatory longitudinal experience is feasible, and it improves student perception of QI skills. Future research will aim to use statistical process control methods to track health care quality prospectively as our students use their scorecards to drive clinic-level improvement efforts.
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