Thursday, January 6, 2011

Quality Education

Today I started my Quality Management Seminar Series for residents and graduate students in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.  It is the second time that we have done the series, the first time being in January 2009.  I know that in Canada this is the only Quality Management Seminar Series provided for residents.  I am sure that there are other centers around the world that provide this information, but I do not know where.  Such is the reality of the communication networks in Quality.

A few things of note.  This year I have applied a PDSA to the series by having a pre-course survey which will be compared and analyzed to a post-course survey.  The results of the pre-course survey are in themselves instructive.  The survey included 10 knowledge questions that were pretty basic.   All questions were answered as single right answer with the list of responses being randomly positioned to avoid answering bias (if you don't know the right answer, then answer the 2nd in the list).  The style of questions included "what is the international standard for medical laboratory quality and competence?" or "in which phase of the medical laboratory cycle do most errors occur?". 
Of the 10 questions, the best response was 91% of responders getting the right answer, and the poorest response was 0 getting the right answer.  The mean, median, and mode for correct response was all around 40%.   So as they say, there is room for knowledge improvement.  When we have the post-course results collected and analyzed, I think the information derived will be a useful contribution to the resident education literature. 
I was tempted to attach the quiz to MMLQR, but I learned from the last survey that is unlikely to get many responses.  If anyone is interested, if you contact me I will send you a link to the survey.

Today's presentation included an introduction on why residents in training need to be more aware of Quality issues.  I reinforced the message with a series of news releases from the Canadian press highlighting high-profile error in the medical laboratory.  The list was put together by Robert Michel (of the Dark Report) and shared at the Quality Confab in San Antonio, and I thank Robert for letting me use this as an instructional exercise.   I was able to expand this list with a few more events.  The point of the exercise was to point out that once the public starts shining the light that results in change, it tends to not turn the light off.  And further, shining light does not result in confidence building; indeed it points out that public trust and confidence are fragile.  It is fair to say that for many the era of "I am a doctor. You can trust me"  is over.

The seminar series will continue for 3 more weeks.

While not posted yet, the presentations will be available on


PS:  I have not mentioned the POLQM Weekend Workshop for a while. 
We have put together a brilliant group of speakers on a variety of topics highly relevant to education and practice of medical laboratory Qualitology.   Plus we are inviting posters and podium presentations.
Please visit


  1. Dear Michael
    Please send me a link to the survey summary.

    Thank you

  2. Good post. I am a new visitor of your blog and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I’ll be a frequent visitor for a really long time.
    Customer Service Survey Questions

  3. Thanks for the complement Britney.
    I note your interest in Customer Surveys.
    So do you think I am on-track or way off with my rules for doing surveys correctly?


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