European Teaching Agenda on Quality and Safety in Family Medicine

Zalika Klemenc-Ketis

Quality improvement (QI) is defined as the combined and unceasing efforts of healthcare professionals, patients and their families, researchers, payers, planners and educators to make changes that will lead to better patient outcomes, better system performance and better professional development. It is the basis of the work of family physicians nowadays. Also patient safety is increasingly important, especially in the times of an increased patients’ demands and limited resources and time. Therefore, physicians need training in the competencies required for quality improvement and safe practice. Attempts to address the need for physician training in QI have, however, been uneven. An European study on teaching QI8 showed many differences in QI curricula between European countries and different organizations within individual countries.

Currently, there isn’t any common European curriculum in quality and safety. In 2012, a Competency Framework for Quality Improvement in Family Medicine was developed. Competency models can enhance educational initiatives in multiple ways. A competency-based curriculum focuses attention on the outcomes of the instruction and how it improves the learner and the learners’ work rather than focusing purely on acquiring knowledge (as is often the case with traditional instruction). A QI competency framework can provide the basis for a self-assessment tool to help individual family physicians identify their training needs. Just as quality improvement requires health care professionals to be clear about outcomes, family physicians also need to have clear and focused guidelines for choosing their educational goals. A competency framework can also provide an organising structure to guide the development and evaluation of
educational programs.

In 2014, EQuiP decided to develop an educational agenda for quality and safety in general practice/family medicine based on the Competency Framework for Quality Improvement in Family Medicine. This is an educational framework
for teaching the core competencies of quality and safety at the speciality training level. It is designed to serve as a basis for curriculum developers at the speciality training level to set the learning aims and methods, and the assessment aims and methods. It is not designed as a curriculum and it should not be seen that way. We hope that this educational agenda will stimulate the discussions which will results in suggestions for amendments and,
after some years, in a revised version.

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