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The field of Anesthesiology, like most fields, has many set processes that may benefit from quality improvement methodologies. Here at University Hospital, there are multiple opportunities to participate in these activities. Upon taking this course, the student will be taught lean six sigma which is a QI methodology used for improving process accuracy and also efficiency. The student would be working directly with the Chief Quality and Safety Director (Kevin MBackfish-White, MD) in doing this. Six Sigma methodology would be taught to the medical student either by zoom or by a set of power points. The student will be offered several different projects and one will be chosen. Lean six sigma will then be applied and hopefully, a new process will be implemented. In some cases, a student may be continuing the work of another as some projects will extend past two weeks.

Elective Details:

Primary Contact for Add/Drops: Kevin Backfish-White, MD (kmbackfi@iupui.edu)

Director: Kevin Backfish-White, M.D.

Campus: Indianapolis

Location: University Hospital

Learning Objectives

  • By the end of the course, the student will be able to... 1) Cite various QI Methodologies and how they can be utilized in current hospital systems. (SBP4)
  • 2) Discuss the importance of quality processes as they related to both health care workers and to patients (SBP4)
  • 3) Plan and implement strategies for QI no matter which field of healthcare they ultimately plan to work in. (SBP4)


  • Research Evaluation Form; (Written Exam: 10%Observation: 40%QI Document with Analysis: 40%-Expectations for this document: I would want a document that involves a complete DMAIC analysis (see attached AAQIpowerpoint) with concrete cause and effect analysis using a tool such as the 5 Why's and at least one root cause. Tomeet satisfactory status for the document I would want at least one approach to how the process can be improved. Ifwe are able to get to the implementation of the process then that would be an added bonus. In some cases this maynot be feasible in two weeks, I would however keep in contact with the medical student let them know what the resultswere of implementation if the improvement plan is feasible.)

Enrollment Information

Prerequisites: 3rd or 4th year status

Availability with Max Students per Month:


Duty Hours: 40

Time Distribution: 20% Laboratory or Scholarly Research; 20% Lecture/Seminar; 40% Library/Research; 20% Online

Elective Type Category: AS - Advanced Science Research

Notes and Enrollment Information:

Add/Drop Contact Person: Dr. Backfish-White (kmbackfi@iupui.edu). Enrollment will be done by contacting Dr. Backfish-White, MD. Groups of up to 4 medical students will be able to participate on the same project during any given 2-week period. This is a two-week (2 credit) elective. The availability numbers specified indicate the number of students per two-week rotation (i.e. 4 students per two-week rotation in August).

Third Year Elective? Yes

Interprofessional Skills and Service Learning

Interprofessional Collaborative Skills: Yes

Skills Description: Multiple processes involve multidisciplinary approaches with nursing, pharmacy, surgeons, and anesthesiologists being the most common sets of people involved.

Service Learning Included: None