The field of Quality Improvement (QI) is a tool that many modern industries have developed to analyze and improve the fundamental processes that they follow to improve outcomes, whether that be a product or service. Over the past few decades, health care organizations have adapted these techniques for use in medicine. It is particularly useful in Surgery. Applying these tools can lead to improved patient outcomes and reduce waste and inefficiencies in everything we do.

The UK Department of Surgery Quality Initiative recommends two introductory certification programs that provide the basics of QI. These programs are open to faculty, residents, and staff.

Also included are Advanced and Distinction Tracks. See descriptions below. 


Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) “Open School” Basic Certificate​

For anyone who wants to learn about Quality Improvement initiatives, the IHI Open School Basic Certificate in Quality and Safety is a certification program that contains 13 courses for 17.75 total hours. This certification program provides an introduction to quality, safety, population health, equity, healthcare leadership, and person- and family-centered care.

Complete IHI Open School Basic Certificate

UK Quality Essentials Certificate​

The Department of Surgery faculty, residents, and staff are eligible to participate in a 4-part Quality Improvement series and may choose to obtain a certificate by completing a personal project.

The Quality Essentials Certification is built upon the framework of the Model for Improvement, a tool created by Associates for Process Improvement (API) and promulgated by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) as the IHI Approach to quality. The goal is to equip graduates to:

  • Thoroughly understand the fundamentals of the Model for Improvement.
  • Apply selected quality improvement tools in appropriate situations.
  • Work on local problem-solving teams that support high-level quality improvement goals.
  • Assist with data collection and analysis.

UK Quality Essentials Certificate enrollment

Advanced Options

  • American College of Surgeons (ACS) Quality In-Training Initiative (QITI) Program for residents (ACS_NSQIP_2017_QITI_Curriculum.pdf ( - QITI is a FREE introductory program offered by the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP).
  • ACS Quality Basics Course (ACS Quality Improvement Course: The Basics | ACS ( This fee-based course is directed at practicing surgeons and includes a certificate of completion for passing a multiple-choice exam on the content at the completion.
  • TeamSTEPPS 2.0 Self-Paced Course | Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality ( TeamSTEPPS is a teamwork system based on 20 years of experience and lessons learned from high-reliability organizations designed to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of health care by improving communication and other teamwork skills. – Free
  • Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA) Quality Website ( – A state-based resource for quality and educational events. The KHA also has a weekly Quality Newsletter.  UK Healthcare is a member hospital of the KHA.  Faculty, staff, and residents are eligible to receive all KHA communications and may take advantage of any scholarships that the association offers for training, education, and certifications. 
  • National Association of Healthcare Quality – Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality