Physician Quality Improvement (PQI) (previously called: Regional Quality Improvement) is an SSC-funded initiative that provides $1.3 million annually to each health authority to support physician involvement in QI. Physicians participate in QI activities through training and completion of projects. Although the focus of PQI is to increase physician involvement – many people can participate and benefit. Anna Hwang, a recent graduate of SFU is one such person.
Anna became involved in a physician-lead QI project through the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Chapter, which offers IHI Open School training to interested students.
Anna participated in Dr. Francis Ervin’s QI project at the Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge. The project was about reducing wait times for patients to access respiratory testing. Anna said, “One thing I learned from the project is that real world projects are not as polished and straight-forward as most school projects.”
By participating in this project, Anna developed skills in critical thinking, communication and teamwork. In addition, Anna notes, “All this learning made my knowledge richer and to top it all, I was able to enhance my networking skills by communicating with numerous physicians and several medical staff at the Pulmonary Function Labs.”
As a physician, you may lead a QI project either through an SSC initiative or through other opportunities – the more value you can demonstrate in relation to patient care, health authority operations, cost savings, etc. - the easier it is to gain support and buy-in. Don’t forget the ‘real world’ experience you may be able to offer a student. Clearly, Anna found working on a QI project a great way to learn and build on her future career. More information about PQI.