The last five years have seen significant expansion in our educational offerings. These different programs emerged from our commitment to meet the various needs of an expanding group of learners both within and beyond Toronto. For example, we developed a one-day QI workshop for individuals with little or no experience but wanted to gain exposure to QI. At the other end of the spectrum, C-QuIPS partnered with the University of Toronto Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation to launch the first Masters of Science (MSc) with a concentration in QI/PS in Canada in response to a growing demand for advanced training that could prepare future leaders and academic clinicians in QI. Some graduates of our programs have themselves played a meaningful role in QI/PS education; for example, a graduate of our MSc went on to lead the process of adapting the Royal College’s ASPIRE (Advancing Safety for Patients in Residency Education) train-the-trainer faculty development program to be delivered internationally. Most recently, we created the EQUIP (Excellence in Quality Improvement) academic certificate program to increase our national and international reach.
One of C-QuIPS’ more innovative programs is the Faculty-Resident Co-Learning Curriculum in QI that began as a pilot program in the Department of Medicine in 2011-12 with three subspecialty programs, but has since grown to over 35 training programs and over 200 participating residents across the Departments of Medicine, Paediatrics, Surgery and Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology in 2016-17. The novel approach of bringing faculty and residents together to learn about QI addressed the dual goals of supporting resident QI project efforts while ensuring that faculty develop the necessary skills to supervise and teach QI effectively. This program has garnered national and international interest, and has been the focus of two peer-reviewed manuscripts, one of which was published in Academic Medicine. In 2016, the Co-Learning Curriculum received the University of Toronto Helen P. Batty Faculty Development award for innovation in program development and design.
In addition to teaching at our local education programs, C-QuIPS core members have played key leadership roles in education, and policy to support QI/PS education, with national and international organizations (e.g. Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Choosing Wisely Canada, I-PASS Study Group, Association of American Medical Colleges)
For more information on our education courses, please refer to :
Method of Class Delivery:
One day (8AM-4:30PM)
(mix of didactic lectures and group activities)
UofT C-QuIPS – SickKids Site, Suite 630, 525 University Ave., Toronto.
The workshop is delivered to professional groups of 15-20 participants. Aspects of the workshop are customized to meet the distinct needs of the professional group.
Group-Based Quality Improvement Workshops
Based on the success of the Certificate Course, C-QuIPS was awarded a contract from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to provide education and support to physicians enrolled in the MOHLTC’s Most Responsible Physician Quality Improvement Program. Delivered in April and May 2011, the two introductory workshops to provide training in basic quality improvement training garnered uniformly enthusiastic evaluations:
- “It was inspiring”
- “I learned more in 1 hour than my entire Master’s degree”
- “It was the best learning experience I’ve ever had”
From these very successful MRP Workshops, the Centre developed two-day intensive Safety and Quality Improvement Workshops. First offered in Fall 2011, these workshops are geared towards those who have little to no background in this field and would like to learn more, but do not have the time to devote to a course running over several months.
Using a mixture of didactic lectures, interactive discussions and activities, topics covered include:
- Developing effective quality improvement projects
- Using the Model for Improvement
- Anticipating and addressing implementation problems
- Run charts and statistical process control
- Harnessing small sample sizes in PDSA cycles
- Stakeholder engagement
Previous participants have come from a broad range of professional roles including physician and nursing groups, and represent institutions including major teaching hospitals and community hospitals as well as the University of Toronto and University of Buffalo.
Is your Institution or department interested in offering a QI workshop?
Please contact Leahora Rotteau for more details:
firstname.lastname@example.org | 416 480 6100 ext. 2790
Applications for 2019-20:
Check website in March 2019
Dr. Olivia Ostrow & Dr. Brian Wong
Associate Course Directors:
Dr. Alene Toulany & Dr. Eric Monteiro
Mohita Moghe & Lisha Lo
Method of Course Delivery:
Sept 2018 to June 2019
Session Dates (21 sessions):
To be finalized in June 2018
Estimated Time Commitment:
1 day/week for in-person classes, assignments, and/or individual project work
UofT C-QuIPS – SickKids Site, Suite 630, 525 University Ave., Toronto
Tuition Fees for 2018-2019:
Health Professionals: $3000
To be eligible, interested applicants must be able to undertake a QI project at their current healthcare institution with the support of their sponsor while being able to attend the in-person sessions. A complete application includes:
1) Applicant Information
2) Personal Statement
3) Abbreviated CV
4) Two Letters of Support
The Certificate Course is aimed at health professionals (e.g., clinicians, allied health professionals, administrators) whose work relates to patient safety or quality improvement, as well as senior trainees considering a focus on patient safety and quality improvement for their careers.
The course consists of approximately 60 hours over ten months, covering core concepts in patient safety and quality improvement, using a mixture of didactic lectures, interactive workshop-type sessions, workplace-based exercises and presentations by class participants. Throughout the course, participants will carry out a patient safety or quality improvement project as a means of getting practical, hands on experience, while simultaneously applying the core learning concepts.
Participants will frequently engage with various mentors one-on-one throughout the course, creating a rich learning environment, and increasing the success of their proposed projects. This course also provides an opportunity for participants to network with other individuals passionate about patient safety and quality improvement. The relationships built often continue beyond the duration of the course, which many previous participants have found beneficial as they continue to build their careers.
The Certificate Course received the 2010-2011 Colin Woolf Excellence in Course Coordination from the University of Toronto and we will be applying for accreditation by the University of Toronto CPD for 2018-2019.
Participants will learn key concepts such as:
- Core definitions and epidemiology in safety and QI
- Approaches to measuring healthcare quality and performance
- Methods for assessing quality and safety problems
- Quantitative methods: Run charts and control charts
- Qualitative methods in safety and quality
- Patient safety topics: (safety culture, human factors, incident analysis, communication and teamwork)
- Patient engagement
- Resource stewardship
- Leadership (leading change, stakeholder engagement)
- Health informatics
- How to teach QI to others
- Health policy and the clinical microsystem
In order to successfully obtain the Certificate of Completion, participants must complete three exercises/assignments that are based in their clinical work (e.g., a PDSA cycle, a stakeholder interview, a process map of a clinical process related to a larger QI project).
Successful past candidates' projects:
Dr. Eric Tseng took the Certificate Course in 2013-14 as a Chief Medical Resident in General Internal Medicine. His project focused on implementing an orderset and checklist to improve transfusion practices at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre with the ultimate goal of reducing blood transfusion associated complications, specifically transfusion-associated circulatory overload. He recently published his study in the journal Transfusion Medicine, co-authored with Dr. Yulia Lin, who is also a graduate of our course (2014-2015). You can read more about this project here.
Dr. Meiqi Guo took the course in 2014-15 as a PGY4 in the Physiatry residency program at the University of Toronto. She discovered that patients who had suffered a recent stroke were rarely offered the opportunity to discuss sexual health concerns. Using a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach, she and the rehabilitation team at West Park Healthcare Centre made numerous changes to the standard care plan of stroke rehabilitation patients — after 10 months, 80% of patients were offered the opportunity to discuss sexual health. She published her work with Certificate Course mentor Dr. Alex Lo in BMJ Quality Improvement Reports. More on the success of her project can be found here.
Are you interested in learning more about the Certificate Course?
Dr. Rory McQuillan & Dr. Chaim Bell
Method of Course Delivery:
In-person & videoconferencing
July 2017 to May 2019
Aug 13-17, 2018 in Houston, TX
UofT C-QuIPS – SickKids Site, Suite 630, 525 University Ave., Toronto
$1500 (each year)
VA Quality Scholars (VAQS)
The VAQS program began in the late 1990’s and has been recognized as one of the most comprehensive and established Quality Improvement (QI) training programs. The program runs for two years and is designed to nurture fellows and junior faculty and allow them to develop a career in research, in QI and health services, or in QI within the framework of a position in medical administration, education, or clinical practice. The VAQS program is intended for health care professionals in advanced stages of training or junior faculty who would like to pursue careers in quality improvement.
The VAQS program is designed using a ‘hub and spoke’ model. The program centre is at Baylor University Medical School where faculty run the program and work in direct partnership with the VA Office of Academic Affiliations, which oversees all Special Fellowship Programs in VA. There are eight other sites (spokes) in different geographic locations across the United States.
Toronto is the ninth site and the only non-American site for the VAQS program. Sites function independently.
The two-year VAQS fellowship is comprised of six components:
- Weekly two-way interactive videoconference (TWIV) sessions –These sessions will occur at the downtown location of the Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (Hospital for Sick Children) for the University of Toronto site. Each site will have fellows and occasionally other academic clinicians participate with required readings and presentations. These occur on every second Friday afternoon from 2pm-3pm EST.
- Weekly half-day meetings on Friday afternoons – Group meetings to discuss QI projects will be held every Friday afternoon from 1pm-2pm. Therefore, we meet from 1pm-3pm every Friday afternoon.
- Face-to-face meetings will occur at the VAQS Summer Institute. For 2018/2019, it will occur Monday, August 13th – Friday, August 17th, 2018 in Houston, Texas.
- The Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Forum held on October 16, 2018 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
- Project design and development. Fellows should build a portfolio of knowledge, skills and attitudes during their fellowship experience. The outcome of this work should be the development of competencies needed to promote the scholarship, research and practice of quality improvement.
- Teaching of the improvement of health care. This would ideally be in the fellow’s area of clinical interest.
Are you interested in learning more about the VAQS in Toronto?
Please contact Dr. Rory McQuillan for more details.
Rory.McQuillan@uhn.ca | 416-340-4800 ext. 2065 | Cell: 647-282-2448
Faculty Resident Co-Learning Curriculum in Quality Improvement
Many residency programs are committed to teaching QI to their trainees, but lack the faculty capacity to deliver a formal QI curriculum. The Faculty-Resident Co-Learning Curriculum in QI, created by Drs. Brian Wong and Kaveh Shojania, addressed this need by taking the innovative approach of teaching faculty and residents together, with the goal of developing a cadre of expert faculty who could eventually teach QI to others. The idea was that faculty could attend the curriculum, observe how QI was being taught, and then develop the necessary skills to become teachers and mentors themselves. The curriculum consists of 2 workshops, typically in September and January, and a final session in June that involves a keynote speaker and group project presentations. Each group of residents is expected to conduct a QI project supervised by their Co-learning faculty.
Based on positive participant feedback, the program saw rapid expansion from a pilot program for 3 subspecialty medicine programs in 2011-2012 to 15 subspecialty programs in 2014-2015 in the Department of Medicine, and three subspecialty programs in the Department of Pediatrics. As of March 2015, we have taught nearly 60 faculty members across all academic job descriptions and rank from the Departments of Medicine, Paediatrics, Surgery, Ophthalmology and Palliative care, and developed 8 QI teachers and over 20 QI mentors. The emergence of these skilled QI teachers and mentors illustrates both the positive impact that the curriculum has had from a faculty development standpoint, and its long-term sustainability.
Many of the projects carried out as part of the Co-Learning Curriculum have been extremely successful, and have been presented as abstracts at national (10 projects) and international meetings (5 projects). Two projects won conference awards, the most notable being the Presidential Poster Competition Award Winner awarded to the residents in the Endocrinology training program at the international Endocrine Society meeting. For more information, please see our brief report published in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education published in December 2013.
Department of Medicine Co-Learning Curriculum in Quality Improvement Curriculum Committee Membership:
Dr. Brian M. Wong (Curriculum Committee Chair, Course Director & Faculty)
Dr. Kaveh Shojania (Director, Quality & Patient Safety)
Dr. Jeannette Goguen (Director, Postgraduate Education & Faculty)
Dr. Lisa Hicks (Faculty)
Dr. Jerome Leis (Faculty)
Dr. Alexander Lo (Faculty)
Dr. Kieran Mcintyre (Faculty)
Dr. Rory McQuillan (Faculty)
Dr. Geetha Mukerji (Faculty)
Dr. Adam Weizman (Faculty)
Mr. Christian Base (Administration)
Department of Paediatrics Co-Learning Curriculum in Quality Improvement and Curriculum Committee Membership:
Dr. Alene Toulany (Course Director and Faculty)
Dr. Deborah Schonfeld (Faculty)
Dr. Tania Principi (Faculty)
Dr. Olivia Ostrow (Faculty)
Masters of Science in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
The Master of Science in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, inaugurated in 2012, is a collaboration between C-QuIPS and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) at the University of Toronto. Dr. Ross Baker is the Program Lead of the program, and Drs. Shojania, Patricia Trbovich, and Anne Matlow are core faculty. Dr. Wong teaches an elective and Dr. Coffey is a guest lecturer. The Masters aims to graduate individuals with the knowledge and skills to lead, research and teach health care QI/PS. The one-year program is geared to individuals working in the health care system and already engaged in QI/PS work, as well as individuals interested in pursuing a professional career in QI/PS. The curriculum is structured to teach students the theoretical knowledge of quality improvement science, patient safety, and health care leadership, while guiding them through their own QI projects in their workplaces. In addition to the core faculty, local and external guest speakers provide insights to a range of QI/PS topics and initiatives. The program is one of only two QI/PS graduate programs in Canada and receives application from individuals across the province and county. For more information, please visit: http://ihpme.utoronto.ca/academics/rd/qips-msc/.
Knowledge of basic principles of quality improvement does not necessarily lead to successful local projects, implementation beyond the local environment, or academic productivity. In reality, many improvement teams rush to a solution without understanding the full range of causes of the target problem. Even well thought-out projects run into serious implementation issues.
The EQUIP program’s enriched content and deeper dive into QI methodologies should make projects more likely to succeed, and will prepare participants to maximize their project’s impact and receive academic recognition for their work. The ultimate goal of the EQUIP program is to train current and future academic QI faculty members to help academic departments and universities address the pressing need to develop capacity in QI. The EQUIP program consists of 5 days of in-person training over the course of 9 months. Participants travel to Toronto, Canada twice – once for 3 days (July 25-27, 2018) and then again for 2 days 9 months later (May 9-10, 2019). Upon completion of the program, participants will be granted an academic certificate from the University of Toronto.
For more information, please refer to the following site : https://www.cpd.utoronto.ca/equip/