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Local health care providers, universities leading the way with new quality improvement partnership

Posted Apr 2nd, 2014

Student projects displayed at Health Quality Symposium on April 2 

A unique quality improvement partnership between local health care providers and medical/health sciences students at McMaster and Brock universities has tripled in scope in just one year and yielded successes beyond expectations.

The I-EQUIP (Interprofessional Education for Quality Improvement Program) is an extension of the classroom, providing an opportunity for students and front-line staff to work together on a variety of quality initiatives that improve patient care. There are a total of 14 projects now on the go at the Niagara Health System (NHS), Tabor Manor and Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre.

“The I-EQUIP program is building a tremendous amount of interest and excitement across our hospital system,” says NHS Vice President Linda Boich. “We are already seeing a lot of benefits for our patients. I-EQUIP is an important part of the culture change we are fostering at the NHS. We are really looking forward to this program continuing to grow and working with our partners on our quality journey.”

Students from Brock and from McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, Niagara Regional Campus work with front-line staff to identify leading practices and create new processes that improve patient care. The projects are wide-ranging and include: prevention of falls, diabetes and insulin safety, sepsis awareness and education, patient transitions from one healthcare provider to another, and reducing mental health Emergency Department visits.

“This is the first time our medical students have had such an opportunity to work so closely with health care providers on quality initiatives,” says Dr. Karl Stobbe, Regional Assistant Dean at the Michael G.DeGroote School of Medicine’s Niagara Regional Campus. “Equipping our future physicians with the tools to understand and drive quality improvement is a top priority for me. I am extremely proud of this partnership and of the progress that has been made in such a short time period.”

The I-EQUIP projects will be displayed at an upcoming health quality symposium. More than 200 participants representing healthcare leaders in Niagara as well as professors and students, will be participating in the all-day event, Wednesday, April 2, at the White Oaks Conference Centre in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The focus of the second annual symposium is to collectively advance efforts to create the best health system for the community through leadership, change and innovation.

“I-EQUIP is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Brock’s health science and public health students to be leaders in quality improvement in healthcare,” says Dr. Madelyn Law of Brock University, Co-Director of I-EQUIP with Dr. Matthew Greenway. “I-EQUIP is providing meaningful applied learning activities which also provide value to the health of the Niagara community.”

Second Annual Health Quality Symposium
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
White Oaks Conference Centre, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Media contact:
Mike Armstrong, Communications Officer, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Brock University, 905-688-5550, ext. 5342;

Caroline Bourque Wiley, Manager, Communications, Niagara Health System, 905-378-4647, ext. 43113;

Erica Walters, Community Engagement and Development Officer, McMaster University, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine – Niagara Regional Campus, 905-378-5717, ext. 6416;

Niagara Health System