The Centre made a strategic decision to focus on capacity building through education and training in the methods of quality improvement. Equipping a cadre of individuals from a wide range of clinical settings to develop improvement projects in their own clinical settings (sometimes in partnership with experts for CQuIPS) offered the opportunity for local improvements and academic productivity.

The Centre has developed educational programs at all levels of learners (undergraduate, post graduate), but notable achievements have included the following:

  • The University of Toronto Certificate Course in Quality Improvement in Patient Safety has attracted a multidisciplinary mix of 125 staff from a range of clinical settings—academic and community-based. The Centre received the 2010-2011 Colin Woolf Award for Excellence in Course Coordination from the University of Toronto's Office of Continuing Education and Professional Development for the Certificate Course. Drs. Etchells and Shojania also received an award in Continuing Medical Education from the Sunnybrook Department of Medicine.
  • The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care awarded us a contract ($248,000 over 2 years) to provide education and mentorship support to physicians enrolled in its "Most Responsible Physician Quality Improvement Program," an initiative designed to provide modest remuneration to hospital-based, fee-for-service physicians to take time away from seeing patients in order to carry out quality improvement work. The MOH engaged us to develop educational workshops and provide project support for participants in this program. Three workshops (two basic and one advanced) were delivered to 120 physicians from 73 hospitals across Ontario. Workshops mixed brief didactic sessions (e.g., methods for characterizing target quality problems and matching the proposed solutions to the underlying problems), with hands-on exercises involving process mapping, and constructing run charts. Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive. One of the representatives from the MOH who attended stated that this was the best educational conference she had ever seen delivered.
  • In 2012, in partnership with the Institute for Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation (IHPME), we launched a new Master's stream in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. We received 80 applications and selected 25 participants—including 11 physicians, as well as nurses, pharmacists, allied health professionals, one mid-wife, and four managers with non-clinical backgrounds. Demand for the program persisted and 79 people applied for enrollment in the second cohort (2013-14 class).We accepted 26 participants, including 4 from out of province.
  • We became the only non-American site participating in the Quality Scholars Program in the US Veterans Affairs system. The VA Healthcare system has become recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in quality improvement over the past 10-15 years. The VAQS is a prestigious 2-year fellowship program—originally just for academically oriented physicians, but more recently for other healthcare professionals interested in research training related to quality improvement.
  • Dr. Brian Wong led the development of an innovative Faculty-Resident Co-Learning Curriculum in Quality Improvement in the Department of Medicine. This year-long program brings together senior subspecialty trainees, faculty leads and residency program directors to learn about quality improvement and work together in faculty-resident teams on quality improvement projects. Over 25 faculty members and nearly 80 residents from 12 subspecialties have taken part in this program in the first 2 years. Six of the faculty member participants, through participating in this program in prior years, have developed skills in teaching quality improvement and will teach as part of this program in the 2013-14 academic year.