The recent health care quality improvement (QI) movement has called for significant changes to the way that health care is delivered and taught in academic medical centers (AMCs). This movement also has affected academic continuing medical education (CME). In January 2011, to better align the CME and QI efforts of AMCs, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) launched a pilot initiative called Aligning and Educating for Quality (ae4Q). The goal of this pilot was to assist 11 AMCs as they moved to a more integrated model of continuous performance improvement by aligning their quality measurement and improvement with their continuing education endeavors. In this article, the authors describe the development of the ae4Q pilot and the resulting outcomes that have led to ongoing improvements.
During the 18-month pilot, AAMC consultants conducted readiness assessments and on-site visits and provided consultation services and Web-based resources based on the AMC’s needs. Following these interventions at each site, they then conducted both interviews with participants and postintervention assessment surveys to measure the impact of the pilot. Findings included demonstrated increases in the alignment of CME and QI, a greater use of quality data in CME design and delivery, and a greater use of CME as an intervention for clinical improvement. Two sites also attributed measureable improved clinical outcomes to their participation in the ae4Q pilot. The AAMC has used these findings to create resources and ongoing services to support AMCs as they pursue efforts to align QI and CME.