Healthcare Delivery Sciences Track (Formerly Quality & Safety)

The Healthcare Delivery Sciences Track (HDST) is a comprehensive, four-year curriculum in quality improvement and safety that is integrated into the Scholarship & Discovery curriculum at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. The ideal healthcare system includes not just the discovery of new medication and technology, but the ability to deliver high quality healthcare to every individual regardless of geographic location, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic, or insurance status. Recent data and seminal reports from the Institute of Medicine highlight that the US healthcare system does not provide the quality and safety of care that it should. 

The HDST combines didactic, seminar, clinical and research components with the goal of providing students the skills to function more effectively in any healthcare setting, working not only with individual patients, but with health systems and institutions.

All Pritzker students will have the opportunity to participate in quality improvement experiences during their four years at Pritzker.  Quality and safety lectures are integrated into the preclinical curriculum in Scholarship & Discovery 1AHealth Disparities in America and a variety of other courses.  A variety of student organizations also provide additional opportunities in quality and safety including the IHI Open School Chapter and Improve Healthcare.org

For those students that wish to be future physician leaders in quality and safety, pursuing the HDST will provide the opportunity to receive advanced training, conduct a mentored QI project, and connect with quality and safety leaders institutionally and nationally.

Core Components of the Healthcare Delivery Sciences Track 

  1. First-Year Selective in QI Methods & Safety
    As a component of the Scholarship & Discovery curriculum, students in the HDST can enroll in a track-specific elective during the spring quarter of their first year. The elective will give students practical experience learning and using Quality Improvement skills.
  2. IHI Open School 
    All HDST students will participate in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School for Health Professions. IHI Open School is an interprofessional educational community that gives students the skills to become change agents in health care improvement. University of Chicago students maintain their own chapter of the IHI Open School.  As a member of the IHI Open School, students will also be eligible to attend the IHI national meeting to represent Pritzker and showcase their scholarly work. The IHI website covers skills like quality improvement, patient safety, teamwork, leadership, and patient-centered care. The IHI Open School offers:
    • Online courses written by world-renowned faculty
    • A network of students
    • Case studies, podcasts, videos, featured articles
  3. Mentorship
    Students meet with various faculty who help them identify an area of interest. Students are then matched with mentors whose background and experiences align with the students' clinical and research interests. Students will work with their mentors throughout their four years.
  4. Clinical Training
    Students supplement their required medical school clinical curriculum by taking part in department specific morbidity and mortality/patient safety conferences during their clinical years.  Students may also participate in the University of Chicago Medicine Quality and Safety Symposium.
  5. Mentored Projects 
    Students in the HDST are encouraged to start a mentored QI project during their second year. The student's will complete their research project by the end of their fourth year. This research will be presented at a local, regional or national conference.

Healthcare Delivery Sciences at the University of Chicago

Healthcare Delivery Sciences on the Web

Examples of Student Work