We conducted an environmental scan of quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS) infrastructure and activities in academic emergency medicine (EM) programs and departments across Canada.
We developed 2 electronic surveys through expert panel consensus to assess important themes identified by the CAEP QIPS Committee. “Survey 1” was sent by email to all 17 Canadian medical school affiliated EM department Chairs and Academic Hospitals department Chiefs; “Survey 2” to 12 identified QIPS leads in these hospitals. This was followed by 2 monthly email reminders to participate in the survey.
22/70 (31.4%) Department Chairs/Chiefs completed Survey 1. Most (81.8%) reported formal positions dedicated to QIPS activities within their groups, with a mixed funding model. Less than half of these positions have dedicated logistical support. 11/12 (91.7%) local QIPS leads completed Survey 2. Two-thirds (63.6%) reported explicit QIPS topics within residency curricula, but only 9.1% described QIPS training for staff physicians. Many described successful academic scholarship output, with the total number of peer-reviewed QIPS-related publications per centre ranging from 1–10 over the past 5 years. Few respondents reported access to academic supports: methodologists (27.3%), administrative personnel (27.3%), and statisticians (9.1%).
This environmental scan provides a snapshot of QIPS activities in EM across academic centres in Canada. We found significant local educational and academic efforts, although there is a discrepancy between the level of formal support/infrastructure and such activities. There remains opportunity to further advance QIPS efforts on a national level, as well as advocating and supporting local QIPS activities.