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Connecting Dots: Creating a Learning System Linking Clinical Quality Improvement, Maintenance of Certification and Research

Project Description: Despite overlapping interests, there are often gaps in collaboration between continuing education, quality improvement, and health services research.  Our project ‘closed the loop’ and built the infrastructure to align three University of Wisconsin Health System (UW Health) programs:  continuing education (Office of Continuing Professional Development), quality improvement education and implementation (Department of Quality, Safety, and Innovation), and practice-based learning and scholarly contributions (Health Innovation Program). For this project, we built on our newly-acquired (in 2013) status as one of the original Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Multi-specialty Portfolio Program Sponsors.  Specifically, we targeted leveraging our academic research strengths in concert with MOC activities.

Preliminary discussions with physicians working with the UW Health MOC Portfolio Program enthusiastically supported the concept of working with HIP to build a web-based resource to support the preparation of manuscripts for submission to a peer-reviewed journal, facilitating the evolution from quality improvement project to generalizable knowledge. Support for scholarly work has benefitted from health services researchers contributions and researchers benefit from having access to “real life” improvement efforts at the frontline, uncovering additional areas for further collaboration. The award was used to develop the online portal, resulting in better patient care, improved efficiency for physicians required to complete recertification and academic requirements, and improved knowledge for researchers regarding current improvement efforts at the frontlines of care, identifying potential areas for sharing expertise and new areas for investigation.

2014 UPDATE: Our QI Publishing web resource ( has been launched, representing a successful alignment between continuing education (OCPD), quality improvement education and implementation (QSI), and practice-based learning and scholarly contributions (HIP). 

Primary contact: Maureen Smith, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.; Professor of Population Health Sciences, Family Medicine, Surgery
Institution: UW Health/University of Wisconsin

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