Increased capacity is needed to accelerate effective, reliable, and sustainable improvements in pediatric health care. As quality improvement (QI) activities in medicine have matured over recent decades, research designs and analytic methods have emerged that can produce scientifically sound, generalizable knowledge regarding QI strategies and outcomes. In parallel, implementation science has emerged as a field focused on refining tools for implementation at scale, with particular attention to organizational and other factors that may facilitate or impede implementation. The Academic Pediatric Association (APA), which has organized prior successful training conferences in QI science, now proposes to broaden both the scope and impact of future conferences to include implementation science methods, and to explicitly link research methods training with foundational discussions regarding emerging health care delivery systems for U.S. children.
The aims of the proposed 3 annual conferences are to 1) train and motivate attendees to use a broad spectrum of tools derived from both QI research and implementation science, and equip them to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative models of pediatric care; 2) develop and implement innovative curriculum enhancements specifically tailored to junior faculty participating in a new APA Quality and Safety Improvement Scholars Program; and 3) to focus each of the three successive conferences around a critical theme for child health care delivery? enhancing value, eliminating disparities, and improving care coordination for children with chronic illness. The proposed annual conferences will be developed and implemented over 3 years by an experienced planning group with diverse experiences in implementation science, QI research, and health services research. Conferences will precede the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, the largest academic meeting of pediatricians and other health care professionals. Conference sessions will include plenary sessions by national experts, a wide selection of small group breakout sessions, and other professional networking opportunities. Attendees will be encouraged to submit their own work for consideration for a poster session and for presentation in a moderated plenary session. A comprehensive evaluation will be conducted, including post- event participant surveys, and a survey of attendees 6-12 months following at least one of the conferences to assess longer term impacts on research collaborations and productivity. The conferences proposed here will integrate implementation science with quality improvement methods in order to support scientists and health system leaders in making health care delivery for children more effective and efficient. This integration will not only result in better trained pediatric researchers, but will contribute to demonstrably improved health outcomes for all children.
This proposal requests support for an annual conference to help pediatric researchers and health system leaders develop skills in quality improvement (QI) research and implementation science. It builds upon prior successful conferences and expands their scope, faculty, and teaching methods. The meeting will help to develop a cadre of child health researchers who are well-prepared to design, implement, and evaluate interventions that can help the U.S. meet its ambitious goals for the health of children.