Run Charts

This course is offered through UpSkill NIMAA. Click here for more information on UpSkill NIMAA.

Course Information

This course is an introduction to run charts.  Run charts display data over time.  In addition, run charts allow the user to understand more deeply the pattern(s) of variation present in data under study.  This course will provide the participant with an overview of the types of variation – random and non-random – as well as information about the anatomy, analysis and interpretation of run charts using data from a primary care setting.  Participants will learn from readings, videos, and online activities.  They will test their acquired knowledge using case studies and brief assessments.  Finally, additional resources for learning more about this topic are provided for optional future learning. 

Target Audience

This activity is appropriate for medical assistants and other care team professionals.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, participants will be able to: 

  • Describe the two types of variation and actions to take for each type 
  • Describe the elements of a run chart 
  • Analyze a run chart for the three non-random variation patterns 
  • Interpret a run chart based on the pattern of variation present and recommend a course of action informed by these results  

Method of Instruction

This is a full distance delivery course. All content is delivered asynchronously via NIMAA's Learning Management System (LMS). The course is approximately two hours in length. Participants demonstrate what they have learned in an activity as well as share reflections and questions about the content with the course instructor and fellow participants. The course instructor reviews all participant submissions, provides feedback, and answers participant questions. Finally, participants complete a knowledge assessment to understand what they have learned in the session. 

Required Hardware/Software

This course does not have a textbook requirement. All required course content materials are included in the LMS within the lesson content for each session. Additional optional learning resources are listed in the lesson information for each session in the course syllabus. To be able to access and complete all the required course items, all participants are expected to have access to a personal computer meeting the specifications below. 

Minimum Hardware Requirements 

  • Personal computers should be five years old or newer, when possible 
  • 2.4 GHz or faster processor  
  • 4 GB or more of RAM 
  • 300 GB or larger hard drive  
  • 500MB or better video card capable of 1920x1080 resolution or higher  
  • Sound card with speakers, headphones and microphone  
  • Monitor/display video card capable of 800x600 dpi with 256 colors  

Highly Recommended

  • Printer 
  • CD-RW, DVD-RW or USB mass-storage device (recommended)  

Minimum Software Requirements

  • Operating Systems (one of the following): 
    • Windows 7 and newer   
    • Mac OS X 10.6 and newer  
    • Linux - Chrome OS  
  • Supported browsers: Edge, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox (current and first previous major releases of each browser)  
  • JavaScript enabled  
  • Minimum Internet Speed:  
    • Bandwidth of 512 Kbps (i.e. basic DSL) minimum   
    • Bandwidth of 1.5 Mbps minimum to support good video streaming  
  • Unrestricted access to YouTube and Vimeo 
Activity summary
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 

The course duration is 2 hours. Course enrollment takes place on an ongoing basis. Upon enrollment, participants are granted access to the course. Participants can complete the required work on their own schedule.

UpSkill NIMAA courses provide contact hours that can count toward CMA (AAMA) and CCMA (NHA) recertification requirements.


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