Neonatology Fellowship Quality Improvement Curriculum

The primary goal of the quality improvement (QI) component of the fellowship program is to ensure that fellows learn, both through didactics and hands-on activities, the knowledge and skills required to continually improve their own practice as well as the results delivered by the systems in which they practice.  These are not only important goals for the fellowship program, but are also requirements of Maintenance of Certification (MOC) by the American Board of Pediatrics.

Nationwide Children's Hospital is a national leader in quality improvement teaching and implementation, and our Neonatal Service Line has a large number of skilled educators and mentors to assist the fellow during their fellowship.  A QI subcommittee of the neonatal fellowship committee will oversee the education and the development of practical experience in the fellows.

Briefly, the majority of didactic education in QI will occur during the first 6 months of fellowship.  Each fellow will then perform a short, personal QI project during the second 6 months of fellowship in order to get practical experience at applying their didactic learning.  Each fellowship class will then work together on a systems-based QI project for the remaining 2 years of fellowship, culminating in abstract submission and presentation of their successes.

Timeline for Neonatal Fellow Research

All Years

  • Attend Fellowship Core Curriculum series talks on QI topics (1-2/year)

  • Attend Neonatology Grand Rounds talks on QI topics (1-2/year)

Year 1


  • 1st meeting with QI Subcommittee Chair, Dr. Thomas Bartman

July – November:

December – January:

  • Complete IHI web modules QI 104-106

  • Identify personal practice deficiency suitable for tests of improvement


  • Meet with QI Fellowship Subcommittee to select/design personal QI project

  • Select one mentor from QI Fellowship Subcommittee for personal project

  • Begin collecting baseline data

  • Develop AIM and Key Driver Diagram for project

February – June:

  • Run at least two PDSA cycles in personal project and create a run chart

  • Meet with QI mentor to discuss findings


  • Meet with QI mentor to review personal project

Year 2


  • All members of class meet with QI Subcommittee at one time to discuss / select class project and identify QI mentor for the project

    • Mentor will participate as an advisory team member and report on project status to QI Subcommittee

July – August:

  • Fellowship class enlists additional staff (nurses, NNPs, QIS, QI mentor, etc.) to develop QI team

  • Team develops AIM, Key Driver Diagram, Data Collection Plan

August – June:

  • QI team continues to run PDSA cycles, Collect data, Develop Shewart chart, and Revise Key Driver Diagram as needed

Year 3

July – December:

  • QI team continues to run PDSA cycles, Collect data, Add to Shewart chart, and Revise Key Driver Diagram as needed

  • Submit abstract to outside meeting

  • Begin writing of manuscript according to Squire Guidelines  

January – June:

  • Complete project

  • Present at outside meeting

  • Present at Neonatal Grand Rounds