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Overview of QIPEP

The QI Practical Experience Program (QIPEP) was established in 2015 and is structured around the general principles of educational experiences in healthcare improvement (Armstrong 2012). It combines didactic and project-based work to develop and enhance the patient safety (PS) and quality improvement (QI) competencies of Queen’s undergraduate and graduate students. In preparation for their projects, participants complete the IHI's Basic Certificate of Quality and Safety.

Students are then matched to existing projects at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre based on interest, their academic background, and previous training. These interdisciplinary teams are supervised by a Faculty of Health Sciences clinician with expertise in PS and/or QI.

To complement the foundational knowledge in PS and QI students gain through the IHI Basic Certificate, QIPEP offers a series of 60-90 minute workshops focused on the practical skills students need to successfully apply the knowledge gained through the IHI courses at various stages of their projects. Workshops run longitudinally to their project and are strategically scheduled to teach relevant skills as projects evolve. 

The program begins in September and runs until April of the following year. 

For more information on how to get involved, email

QIPEP: Welcome


Projects align with or build on existing healthcare improvement efforts at local hospitals and in the community. Around March, QIPEP begins identifying clinicians (“Faculty Supervisors”) with expertise in PS and/or QI who have ongoing or newly conceptualized projects for which students are needed. Students are recruited to the program between April and May and matched to projects. After completing and submitting their IHI Basic Certificate, students connect with their Faculty Supervisors to gain understanding of the nature and scope of the problem, propose a preliminary intervention, and draft an ethics application (if required). If ethics approval has been secured previously, students begin completing their health clearance and departmental research assistant approval forms. 

After returning to campus in September, students begin their work with a focus on the “Plan” stage of the “Plan-Do-Study-Act” cycle. The Plan stage runs until December and gives teams enough time to refine the identified problem and proposed intervention, develop a formal project charter, review the relevant literature, collect baseline data. Between January and February, the teams conduct at least two PDSA cycles. During this time, teams implement their tests of change, continue to collect, analyze and interpret data, and make recommendations based on their findings. By the end of March, students conclude any outstanding PDSA work and begin writing their final report (due at the end of April).

Scroll through the gallery to learn about some of our past projects.


Overutilization of non-essential blood tests

This project focused on understanding why and how non-essential blood tests were being ordered for ICU patients to identify opportunities for curtailing unnecessary use.


Assessing pain, agitation, and delirium

PAD was not well addressed in the ICU. This project examined the use of new tools to address these important concerns.


Improving the transition of NICU infants

Students surveyed NICU physicians who commonly provide care. A standardized discharge form was developed based on results and piloted


Interdisciplinary Lung Cancer Clinic

Delays in the diagnostic and treatment process for patients with lung cancer leads to worse outcomes and increased patient anxiety. This project examined data from a pilot of ILCC comparing it against a Lung Diagnostic Assessment Program.


Improving patient flow and education

Students helped establish baseline patient flow by process and value stream mapping of a typical patient encounter. They then developed strategies to improve patient flow and education.


Improving the discharge summary process

Only 48% of discharge summaries are faxed to family physicians within 72 hours. This project sought to reduce time taken by medical staff to prepare, sign, and disseminate summaries for discharged inpatients.


Improving discharge transitions

Discharge summaries are not always written in patient friendly language. Students helped develop a patient-oriented transition sheet to convey important information to patients upon discharge.

QIPEP: Projects
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