Evaluation of a novel mentor program to improve surgical care for US hospitals

Julia R. Berian, Juliana M. Thomas, Christina A. Minami, Paula R. Farrell, Kevin J. O'Leary, Mark V. Williams, Vivek N. Prachand, Amy L. Halverson, Karl Y. Bilimoria, Julie K. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate a novel mentor program for 27 US surgeons, charged with improving quality at their respective hospitals, having been paired 1:1 with 27 surgeon mentors through a statewide quality improvement (QI) initiative. Design: Mixed-methods utilizing quantitative surveys and in-depth semi-structured interviews. Setting: The Illinois Surgical Quality Improvement Collaborative (ISQIC) utilized a novel Mentor Program to guide surgeons new to QI. Participants: All mentor-mentee pairs received the survey (n = 27). Purposive sampling identified a subset of mentors (n = 8) and mentees (n = 4) for in-depth semi-structured interviews. Intervention: Surgeons with expertise in QI mentored surgeons new to QI. Main outcome measures: (i) Quantitative: self-reported satisfaction with the mentor program; (ii) Qualitative: key themes suggesting actions and strategies to facilitate mentorship in QI. Results: Mentees expressed satisfaction with the mentor program (n = 24, 88.9%) and agreed that mentorship is vital to ISQIC (n = 24, 88.9%). Analysis of interview data revealed four key themes: (i) nuances of data management, (ii) culture of quality and safety, (iii) mentor-mentee relationship and (iv) logistics. Strategies from these key themes include: utilize raw data for in-depth QI understanding, facilitate presentations to build QI support, identify opportunities for in-person meetings and establish scheduled conference calls. The mentor's role required sharing experiences and acting as a resource. The mentee's role required actively bringing questions and identifying barriers. Conclusions: Mentorship plays a vital role in advancing surgeon knowledge and engagement with QI in ISQIC. Key themes in mentorship reflect strategies to best facilitate mentorship, which may serve as a guide to other collaboratives.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbermzx005
Pages (from-to)234-242
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Collaboration
  • Mentors
  • Qualitative methods
  • Quality culture
  • Quality improvement
  • Surgery
  • Survey


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