Aging Q3: an initiative to improve internal medicine residents' geriatrics knowledge, skills, and clinical performance.
A growing number of older adults coupled with a limited number of physicians trained in geriatrics presents a major challenge to ensuring quality medical care for this population. Innovations to incorporate geriatrics education into internal medicine residency programs are needed. To meet this need, in 2009, faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina developed Aging Q(3)-Quality Education, Quality Care, and Quality of Life. This multicomponent initiative recognizes the need for improved geriatrics educational tools and faculty development as well as systems changes to improve the knowledge and clinical performance of residents. To achieve these goals, faculty employ multiple intervention strategies, including lectures, rounds, academic detailing, visual cues, and electronic medical record prompts and decision support. The authors present examples from specific projects, based on care areas including vision screening, fall prevention, and caring for patients with dementia, all of which are based on the Assessing Care of Vulnerable Elders quality indicators. The authors describe the principles driving the design, implementation, and evaluation of the Aging Q(3) program. They present data from multiple sources that illustrate the effectiveness of the interventions to meet the knowledge, skill level, and behavior goals. The authors also address major challenges, including the maintenance of the teaching and modeling interventions over time within the context of demanding primary care and inpatient settings. This organized, evidence-based approach to quality improvement in resident education, as well as faculty leadership development, holds promise for successfully incorporating geriatrics education into internal medicine residencies.