Integrating quality improvement education into the nephrology curricular milestones framework and the clinical learning environment review

Lisa K. Prince, Dustin J. Little, Katherine I. Schexneider, Christina M. Yuan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires that trainees show progressive milestone attainment in the practice-based learning and systems-based practice competencies. As part of the Clinical Learning Environment Review, sponsoring hospitals must educate trainees in health care quality improvement, provide them with specialty-specific quality data, and ensure trainee participation in quality improvement activities and committees. Subspecialty-specific quality improvement curricula in nephrology training programs have not been reported, although considerable curricular and assessment material exists for specialty residencies, including tools for assessing trainee and faculty competence. Nephrology-specific didactic material exists to assist nephrology fellows and faculty mentors in designing and implementing quality improvement projects. Nephrology is notable among internal medicine subspecialties for the emphasis placed on adherence to quality thresholds— specifically for chronic RRT shown by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Quality Incentive Program. We have developed a nephrology-specific curriculum that meets Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and Clinical Learning Environment Review requirements, acknowledges regulatory quality improvement requirements, integrates with ongoing divisional quality improvement activities, and has improved clinical care and the training program. In addition to didactic training in quality improvement, we track trainee compliance with Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes CKD and ESRD quality indicators (emphasizing Quality Improvement Program indicators), and fellows collaborate on a yearly multidisciplinary quality improvement project. Over the past 6 years, each fellowship class has, on the basis of a successful quality improvement project, shown milestone achievement in Systems-Based Practice and Practice-Based Learning. Fellow quality improvement projects have improved nephrology clinical care within the institution and introduced new educational and assessment tools to the training program. All have been opportunities for quality improvement scholarship. The curriculum prepares fellows to apply quality improvement principals in independent clinical practice—while showing milestone advancement and divisional compliance with Clinical Learning Environment Review requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-356
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Accreditation
  • Achievement
  • Centers for medicare and medicaid services (U.S.)
  • Chronic
  • Chronic
  • Cler
  • Curriculum
  • Curriculum
  • Education
  • Faculty
  • Fellowships and scholarships
  • Graduate
  • Internal medicine
  • Internship and residency
  • Kidney failure
  • Medical
  • Mentors
  • Milestones
  • Nephrology
  • Quality improvement
  • Quality improvement
  • Renal insufficiency
  • Renal replacement therapy
  • United States


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