Development of team action projects in surgery (TAPS): A multilevel team-based approach to teaching quality improvement

Seth A. Waits, Bradley N. Reames, Robert W. Krell, Benjamin Bryner, Terry Shih, Andrea T. Obi, Peter K. Henke, Rebecca M. Minter, Michael J. Englesbe, Sandra L. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objectives To meet the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competency in Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, educational curricula need to address training in quality improvement (QI). We sought to establish a program to train residents in the principles of QI and to provide practical experiences in developing and implementing improvement projects. Design We present a novel approach for engaging students, residents, and faculty in QI efforts - Team Action Projects in Surgery (TAPS). Setting Large academic medical center and health system. Participants Multiple teams consisting of undergraduate students, medical students, surgery residents, and surgery faculty were assembled and QI projects developed. Using "managing to learn" Lean principles, these multilevel groups approached each project with robust data collection, development of an A3, and implementation of QI activities. Results A total of 5 resident led QI projects were developed during the TAPS pilot phase. These included a living kidney donor enhanced recovery protocol, consult improvement process, venous thromboembolism prophylaxis optimization, Clostridium difficile treatment standardization, and understanding variation in operative duration of laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Qualitative and quantitative assessment showed significant value for both the learner and stakeholders of QI related projects. Conclusion Through the development of TAPS, we demonstrate a novel approach to addressing the increasing focus on QI within graduate medical education. Efforts to expand this multilevel team based approach would have value for teachers and learners alike.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-168
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


  • implementation
  • practice-based learning
  • quality improvement
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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