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J Educ Eval Health Prof > Volume 15; 2018 > Article
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2018; 15: 31.
Published online December 26, 2018.
An innovative resident-driven mortality case review curriculum to teach and drive system-based practice improvements in the United States
Nila S. Radhakrishnan1  , Margaret C. Lo1  , Rohit Bishnoi1  , Subhankar Samal1  , Robert Leverence2  , Eric Rosenberg1  , Zareen Zaidi1 
1Department of Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, USA
2Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA
Correspondence  Nila S. Radhakrishnan ,Email:
Editor:  Sun Huh, Hallym University, Korea
Submitted: December 5, 2018  Accepted after revision: December 26, 2018
Traditionally, the morbidity and mortality conference (M&MC) is a forum where possible medical errors are discussed. Although M&MCs can facilitate identification of opportunities for systemwide improvements, few studies have described their use for this purpose, particularly in residency training programs. This paper describes the use of M&MC case review as a quality improvement activity that teaches system-based practice and can engage residents in improving systems of care.
Internal medicine residents at a tertiary care academic medical center reviewed 347 consecutive mortalities from March 2014 to September 2017. The residents used case review worksheets to categorize and track causes of mortality, and then debriefed with a faculty member. Selected cases were then presented at a larger interdepartmental meeting and action items were implemented. Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis were used to analyze the results.
The residents identified a possible diagnostic mismatch at some point from admission to death in 54.5% of cases (n= 189) and a possible need for improved management in 48.0% of cases. Three possible management failure themes were identified, including failure to plan, failure to communicate, and failure to rescue, which accounted for 21.9%, 10.7 %, and 10.1% of cases, respectively. Following these reviews, quality improvement initiatives proposed by residents led to system-based changes.
A resident-driven mortality review curriculum can lead to improvements in systems of care. This novel type of curriculum can be used to teach system-based practice. The recruitment of teaching faculty with expertise in quality improvement and mortality case analyses is essential for such a project.
Keywords: Mortality reduction; Morbidity and mortality conference; Internal medicine resident education; Systems-based practice; United States
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