C4Tech: Virtual connections between the classrooms, clinicians, and community clinics to bridge the gap between research and practice

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Medical Teacher








E-learning; health professions education; quality improvement; social determinants of health


Aim: E-learning technologies are becoming vital components of medical and health professions education, as highlighted during the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) considers education technologies essential to forming connections between education and healthcare delivery systems, which promote evidence-based practice and continuous learning and quality improvement in healthcare. There is a lack of evidence-based models to guide the integration of technology in medical and health profession education, in particular models that form synergistic linkages between healthcare education and delivery systems. This paper presents the evaluation of an innovative blended learning model, which leverages virtual technology to connect students in the classroom with clinicians in community clinics (C4Tech) for authentic learning related to quality improvement (QI) and social determinants of health (SDH). Method: This study applied a case study approach to evaluate the efficacy of the C4Tech model in supporting learning outcomes and assessed how virtual collaboration influenced the process of learning. Results: This study contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of how to design effective blended courses that connect the healthcare education and delivery systems through virtual technology. It also demonstrates how to connect students and practicing clinicians virtually to design evidence-based quality improvement projects.