Connecting Improvement with Clinical Teams – Renal Team

This is the second in a series of posts from the Undergraduate Healthcare Team, following on from the first post about collaborating with NHS Tayside. Within the new GMC Outcomes for Graduates (2018)medical students are expected to ‘participate in and promote activity to improve the quality and safety of patient care and clinical outcomes’.  One way to achieve this is by carrying out a quality improvement piece of work with a clinical team.

Students first began getting involved in improvement work with NHS Tayside in 2011 when the Medical School was the first University outside the USA to test the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Practicum.  Seven years on students use the IHI Open School online modules, have QI coaching sessions and are support by a clinical and academic mentor to take forward a key piece of improvement work that is identified by teams within NHS Tayside.


Dr Samira Bell a Renal Consultant in Ninewells Hospital has been leading interventions to improve the recognition and management of patients with AKI and felt there was a role for students to get involved. Through a range of Student Selected Components (SSC) in Improving Care and Patient Safety delivered by the undergraduate Healthcare Improvement team, the Renal team have supported students in the clinical area to carry out improvement work around AKI, Sick Day Rules and patient experience.  The figure summarises seven improvement projects, which have led to a number of outputs created by students for the Renal team and their patients  including patient information leaflets, visual reminders, care bundles, posters and two papers in BMJ Open Quality, one has already been  publishedand one has been accepted for publication.    These SSC projects have allowed our department to drive forward improvement work in AKI in Tayside. They have enabled testing and implementation of several improvement measures aimed at improving AKI management. Working with the students on these projects has been both rewarding and enjoyable.  Their enthusiasm, motivation and tenacity with overcoming barriers has been refreshing to observe.

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