With the new format being introduced, the noninterpretive skills domain specification is the guide to follow. The questions are built around how to improve quality of care over time. For example, are there processes that can be examined retroactively? What controls can be put in place, and what statistical methods can be used to improve both quality of care and efficiency?
Keep in mind that the non-interpretive questions are only one fifth of the exam, but if a test taker fails that portion specifically, the whole exam will need to be re-taken.
Several key non-interpretive areas to consider. This is a quick high level outline of the topics that are touched on. Our questions cover many of these areas, but additional reading may be required if you don’t recognize the following concepts.
In many ways, Part 1 of the exam (General Quality Improvement) reflects a course in operations improvement or operations management.
- Continuous Improvement (PDSA) – including lean process improvement and just in time
- Six Sigma
- Target Identification
- Key Performance Indicators
- QI Tools
- Flowcharts / Maps
- Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule)
- Multi-voting and Multi-picking out methods
- Nominal Group Technique
- Prioritization Matrix
- Voice of the Customer
- Walkthrough (how to simulate conditions to prepare for various scenarios)
Part 2 of the exam (Patient Safety) focuses specifically on reducing accidents in the workplace, and frankly, reducing costs.
- NPSG Guidelines (We suggest memorizing the basics – e.g. patient identification using two different forms, or marking the procedure site)
- Knowing and understanding Type 1 and Type 2 Errors and the consequences of each
- Diagnostic Errors
- Treatment Errors
- Preventive Errors
- Other Errors
- System Redesign (apparently intended for a hospital setting)
- Human Factor Engineering
- Resiliency Efforts (Detecting that something has gone wrong, and mitigating as quickly as possible)
- Definitions (Active Error, ADE, Authority Gradient, Blunt End, Latent Error, Sentinel Event, FMEA etc.)
- General best practices (CPR, Dose management / Optimization, Extravasation, Appropriate Imaging)
Part 3 of the exam (Professionalism and Ethics) focuses on skill, competence, and character.
- Fundamental Principles (Patient Welfare, Autonomy, and Justice)
- Professional Responsibilities (Competence, Honesty, Confidentiality, Access to Care, Distribution of Finite Resources)
- ACR Codes and Principles of Ethics
Compliance Regulatory and Legal Issues:
- Different Standards of Communication
- Off Label Use
- Medicolegal and Regulatory Statutes
- FPPE / OPPE
- Technical Standards
Research and Screening (Basically a real high level refresher on statistics)
- Data Types
- Results Types
- Mean, Median, Mode
- Normal Distribution
- P Values
- Predictive Value
- Correlation and Regression
- Bayes Theorem
- Studies of Different Types (e.g. Random Trials)