Program Description

Building Leaders to Improve Patient Care Practices

What is the CAP Innovation Fellowship Program?

The CAP Innovation Fellowship Program (Fellowship Program) offers an opportunity for point-of-care health professionals to improve the quality of care by leading a quality improvement project that aligns with strategic priorities on their patient care unit, broader clinical program or a corporate area of focus.

The Fellowship Program began in 2010 as the Nurses for Tomorrow (N4T) Innovation and Research Fellowship Program and gained national recognition in 2012 by Accreditation Canada as an Innovative Leading Practice. The Fellowship program builds leadership capacity, provides a unique opportunity for professional development and supports job satisfaction, employee recruitment and retention strategies. The Fellowship Program embraces the philosophy that clinicians who provide direct patient care know what needs to be improved and how best to improve it.

The Fellowship Program has expanded to include participants across health professions within the Greater Toronto Areas healthcare organizations. Currently, the Fellowship program is delivered in partnership with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (Sunnybrook) through the Toronto Academic Health Services Network (TAHSNp), with fellows from UHN, Sunnybrook, Michael Garron Hospital, and VHA Home HealthCare. As the program continues to grow, opportunities for multi-site collaboration on projects are also available for our fellows.

What are the program objectives of the CAP Innovation Fellowship Program?

The Fellowship program has three main objectives:

  1. To improve the quality and safety of patient care and service delivery.

  2. To build leadership capacity in front-line clinicians (and non-clinicians) by undertaking a quality improvement project that directly impacts patient care, service delivery.

  3. To integrate interprofessional collaboration (IPC) and broad stakeholder engagement (both internally and externally) to enable knowledge building and translation and implementation of innovative solutions and evidence-informed best practices.

What are the learning objectives for fellows participating in the program?

The CAP Fellowship curriculum, content, its delivery and evaluation, are built on current evidence- informed best practices for education, leadership and quality improvement literature.

Fellows acquire knowledge by participating in educational seminars and workshops, in addition to developing their skills by applying their learning throughout the planning and implementation of their quality improvement project.

The fall 2024 cohort’s education seminars will use a hybrid design (the combination of remote and in-person teaching). Online seminars will be through video conferencing, and in-person seminars will be held at UHN and collaborating TAHSNp Sites.

Competency development will vary for each fellow and links to the organization’s employee development program. However, the required leadership competencies for successful planning and implementation of quality improvement projects include:

  • Project Management (Understanding the Quality Improvement (QI) framework and Application, Project Planning and Time Management)
  • Refining change Ideas (e.g. Education principles and practices to support change Ideas, Plan, Do, Study, Act. (P.D.S.A) processes, hierarchy of effectiveness framework
  • Change Management Framework (e.g. Overcoming barriers and conflict resolution)
  • Application of evidence informed tools in intervention planning (e.g. education and simulation basics)
  • Building Relationships, Influence Persuasion and Motivation (e.g. interprofessional collaboration, stakeholder engagement, identifying champions, managing up
  • Stakeholder Communication and Engagement (e.g. briefing notes, elevator pitches, oral presentations)
  • Critical Thinking (addressing incidental findings and outcomes).
  • Evaluation and Sustainability Strategies

The curriculum (content and its delivery) for the Fellowship program and its evaluation is built upon current evidence, best practices for education, leadership and quality improvement literature.

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