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The Healthcare Matrix: Improving Care by Linking Outcomes to Competencies

The Healthcare Matrix: Improving Care by Linking Outcomes to Competencies

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Doris Quinn, MD
Donald W. Reynolds Foundation
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The Healthcare Matrix is currently a Word document, but will soon have a web-based interface attached to a database. The 36-cell Matrix has one cell to represent each intersection of an IOM Aim for Improvement (identified in the IOM report, crossing the Quality Chasm) with an ACGME Core Competency. This tool provides learners with a structured framework to analyze complex episodes of patient care in terms of the Aims and Competencies. The individual cells of the Matrix allow the care analysis to be segmented into more manageable parts. By associating the Aims for Improvement with the Core Competencies, The Matrix encourages learners to reflect on the care they provide and determine the improvements needed, while helping them learn and apply the Aims and Competencies. If learners cannot identify issues in the bottom line of the Matrix-practice-based learning and improvement--then they have not sufficiently analyzed the care. Learners may then use this information to develop action plans that improve care from an individual -- and systems-perspective so that they experience first-hand the 'Practice-Based Learning & Improvement' Core competency.

Educational objectives: 

1. To offer schools a way to meet Phase III of the ACGME Outcomes Project by presenting an educational tool that links the outcomes of care to the ACGME Core competencies. 2. To encourage learners to associate their education (beyond medical knowledge with the care of their patients.) 3. To guide learners in analyzing the care of their own patients by using the Core competencies to identification of opportunities for improvement. 4. To change the environment of case presentations and M&M conferences from one of blame to one of system analysis and quality improvement.

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Suggested Citation:
Doris Quinn. The Healthcare Matrix: Improving Care by Linking Outcomes to Competencies. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2008 Available from: