Residency

Using surveys to make improvements in the resident learning environment

Residency Program Insider, March 17, 2009

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Graduate medical education leaders at Loma Linda University (CA) used data collected from annual resident surveys to increase compliance with ACGME institutional requirements, and improve the resident work environment across five of the university’s affiliated hospitals. 

Between 2001 and 2005, residents filled out an anonymous survey, which assessed their perceptions of the following aspects of each hospital’s work environment:

• Clinical services
• Attending physicians
• Learning opportunities
• Resident environment
• Coordination of care 

Researchers compared responses across hospitals and residency programs and identified deficiencies at one of the affiliated hospitals. GME leadership took corrective actions and thus made improvements in nursing, phlebotomy, radiology, social work, case management, and clinical services. Over subsequent years, surveys showed that the improvement efforts did enhance the learning environment. 

Study authors said that the survey data adequately identified concerns and compelled hospital administrators to take action to improve the resident work environment. Additionally, the annual survey allowed hospital and GME administrators to monitor improvement efforts. 

The study, “Monitoring and improving resident work environment across affiliated hospitals: a call for a national resident survey” appeared in the February issue of Academic Medicine.



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