U of M Multidisciplinary Faculty Build Canvas-Based Course on Quality and Safety

The first group of residents in the University of Minnesota Medical School Department of Anesthesiology have recently completed a newly designed, Canvas-based online course on quality and safety, taught by Joss Thomas, MBBS, MPS, Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Anesthesiology. The original course was created by Karyn Baum, MD, MSEd, MHA, Professor of Medicine at the Medical School and Vice President of System Clinical Operations for M Health Fairview.

Previously, no official standard course for quality and safety was offered for first-year residents across the Medical School, although a few programs here have modular-based lessons such as those from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). The goal of this course is for every resident to have the same base-knowledge about quality and safety, to help them communicate with each other and with other specialties in real-life situations. With an online format, all residents can fit the course into their clinical schedules as it works for them while learning at their own pace.

Dr. Thomas teaches this Canvas course and believes his students learn best through using real-life instances and working through them. Quality and safety training is now an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirement, and residents gain basic knowledge, concepts and the ability to discuss quality and safety with expert leadership.

A number of faculty from other University of Minnesota departments are involved as expert leaders, who are available for residents to answer questions they have throughout the course. These faculty are Dr. Thomas, Joyce Wahr, MD, and Mojca Konia, MD, PhD, MACM from the Department of Anesthesiology; Abraham Jacob, MD, MHA from the Department of Pediatrics; and Karyn Baum, MD, MSEd from the Department of Medicine. 

“Residents have shown very thoughtful insights that have been posted in the online forums throughout the course. We spend time discussing reality-based, practical issues. Their questions have helped provide better clarity, not only for residents, but also for faculty and physicians who may have similar questions,” said Dr. Thomas.

Some of the departmental goals of the course are:

  • Residents will become active, not passive, participants in quality and safety projects
  • Residents within other residencies will feel welcome to sign up for this course 
  • Residents will foster the concept of teamwork from the beginning of their career as many of the quality and safety initiatives are multidisciplinary in nature

At the end of the course, all residents will choose a quality and safety project that is already in progress at the University of Minnesota to work on for the next few years. Residents must sign up for at least one project per year.

Look for future quality and safety news in the Department of Anesthesiology, including details about projects our residents will choose to work on and contribute to given their new skills and knowledge developed by this course.