CEO-CLER Innovation Grants Program: Empowering Residents as Clinical Learning Environment Change Agents. Maren Batalden, Carolyn Fisher, Richard Pels, Elizabeth Gaufberg. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 2019.
Background Many efforts over the past decade have focused on developing quality improvement and safety curricula for residents. Sponsoring institutions have encountered challenges aligning resident projects with institutional quality and safety priorities, engaging faculty mentors, and securing support for resident initiatives from executive leadership.
Objective We developed a small grants program to support resident-led change projects intended to improve the clinical learning environment. We assessed program acceptability to residents and faculty, impact of program structure in supporting successful change projects, and program feasibility and financial sustainability.
Methods Program acceptability was assessed through a review of resident participation. Three aspects of resident change project success were considered: (1) accomplishment of stated aims; (2) institutional change beyond the end of grant funding; and (3) academic publication or presentation. The impact of program structure on project success was assessed through a review of submitted end-of-year narrative reports.
Results The Award Selection Committee has given 41 awards to 44 residents over 4 years, engaging 21% (44 of 213) of residents. Seventy-one percent of projects (29 of 41) produced changes that continued beyond the grant year, and 46% (19 of 41) produced an academic publication or presentation. At the end of the grant period that funded the program’s initial 3 years, the chief executive officer elected to continue program funding.
Conclusions A small grants program supporting resident-led change projects intended to improve the clinical learning environment is acceptable to residents and faculty, feasible to administer, and sustainable with support from institutional senior leaders.