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Quality and Innovation in Healthcare Scholarly Concentration

This program trains future clinicians to improve quality, safety and efficiency in health care systems. While cutting-edge technologies and scientific discoveries are important in medicine, simple changes – such as reducing time or waste in a process – can also have a dramatic impact on health care. Scholarly Concentration students are immersed in a hospital, clinic or health department as they implement and assess practical solutions to real-world problems. This concentration provides students a tool set that can be used in any specialty throughout their careers. By participating in interactive, workshop-style courses alongside various healthcare professionals, students master widely recognized approaches for continuous improvement and design thinking. Through completion of coursework and a scholarly project in quality improvement, students earn Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification. Whether the problem is general or highly technical, all projects apply the same principles of innovation, data-driven decision-making, and continuous improvement.


All coursework (except the online Fundamentals of Research and Scholarship course) takes place in Evansville. The scholarly project work occurs in Evansville.

Curriculum and Timeline

Students completing the Quality and Innovation in Health Care concentration fulfill the same core curriculum as students in other concentrations. The didactic components provide a strong academic and experiential foundation in health care quality and innovation that is vital for completion of the core curriculum project and product.

Recommended Pathway

*Available mid-December to mid-February.

Students determine if a concentration pathway will fit in their schedule by contacting concentration co-directors. Actual pathway may vary.

Scholarly Project Topic Examples

Students work with faculty to complete a project in a relevant topic based on student interests. Potential project topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Readmission rates for hip and knee replacements
  • 30-day mortality rates following a stroke
  • Bed turnaround time
  • Medication reconciliation
  • Emergency department discharge-to-door time
  • Obesity counseling efficacy
  • Opioid addiction
  • Infant mortality
  • Working with the local Health Department to improve rates of HPV vaccination
  • Assessing clinical use of new technology to improve communication with non-English speaking populations
  • Working with a post-discharge clinic to reduce hospital readmission rates for high risk patients
  • Analyzing real-world utilization of IV’s and phlebotomy testing in different hospital branches


42731-Garcia, Kara

Kara Garcia, PhD

Assistant Research Professor of Radiology & Imaging Sciences

Bio and Contact Information

23312-La Fortune, Kristin

Kristin A. La Fortune, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

Bio and Contact Information

MD Student News

Concentration Topic: Quality and Innovation in Health Care

In 2019, IU School of Medicine launched Scholarly Concentrations. To help students decide if a concentration topic is the right fit, concentration co-directors shared the inside scoop—from why they got involved in the concentration to how a specific topic can help students reach their goals. Topic: Quality and Innovation in Health Care Location: Evansville Co-Directors: Kara […]

IU School of Medicine  |  Feb 11, 2019