Healthcare Paper on Quality Improvement Process

Quality Improvement Process

Quality improvement (Q1) process is composed of continuous and systematic actions that contribute to improvement in health care status of a particular group of patients not forgetting improvement in health care services. Institute of medicine’s which deals with improving the health of a nation, has defined quality as directly related to desired health results of populations and individuals and the level of health services (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2012). A Q1 process needs to apply the following four principles for it to be successful; be clearly focused on patients, contributing to the team, use of data, and Q1 work as processes and systems. This paper will discuss methods that I will use in quantitatively and qualitatively measuring my QI process for various QI areas in my health care facility.

The first method that I will use in measuring my Q1 process is having a clear focus on patients. Focusing on patients is a good measure of quality. This can be achieved by measuring the extent to which patients expectations and needs are met. There are many services designed to accomplish patient’s expectations and needs. However, not all are applicable at once; some of them include patient safety, systems affecting patient access, available care provision, care coordination with the larger health system, patient engagement support, and cultural competence, which include; patient communication, appropriate care and assessing the knowledge of patients on health (Nadeem, 2013).

Focusing on being part of the team is the second method that I will use to qualitatively measure my Q1 process. This is a team process. A team contributes to the health care facility by using different skills, experiences, and perspectives from different individuals within a team to make improvements. Team approach becomes appropriate when; no one person in the organization is able to solve the problem alone, when the process is complicated and nobody understands, the process is a combination of many disciplines, the creativity of solutions to answers and commitment of staff is also required. In other words, all projects of Q1 require a team, whether an organization is planning to improve on telephone service, diabetes care, patients waiting time, team effort greatly helps many organizations in achieving important and long-term improvements (Tricco et al., 2012). Each person is supposed to contribute to the team and be active at all times by monitoring; what happens, changes that have occurred, how things are working and, how improvements are sustained during day-to-day activities. Contributions in a team should include every person’s skills and show how the team synthesizes the ideas. In addition, the most important component for a good-operating Q1 team is having good infrastructure like procedures, policies, and leadership to facilitate and help in organizing how the team is working. However, this may help in supporting the team with resources, tools, expectations, and a forum where communication can take place (Unützer et al, 2012).

Thirdly, focus on the use of data is another method that I will use because data is the foundation of Q1. This method describes how systems are working, what happens when changes occur, and documents the successful performance of an organization. Use of data helps in establishing a base line, separating what is happening from what is thought to happen, reducing the application of ineffective solutions, allow monitoring of changes, showing whether changes that have occurred will result to improvement and allow comparison of performance to occur. Qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection will be used in Q1 data collection. Quantitative methods use frequencies and numbers resulting into measurable data while qualitative method collects data that has descriptive characteristics, rather than having numeric values to draw statistical inferences. Strategies that will be used to collect this kind of data include staff and patient surveys, group discussions, and independent observations. A health care organization is said to have ready data from different sources, such as satisfactory surveys, clinical records, management systems, external health evaluation among many others. I focus on the ready data as this displays discipline allowing an organization to evaluate current systems, identify how improvement can be achieved, and monitor how improvement in performance taking place. Standardized performance measures will be adopted to help the organization to narrow down to a specific data for the Q1 program (Al-Abri & Al-Balushi, 2014).

Lastly, QI Work as processes and system is the fourth method that I would use. For improvements to occur in the organization there is need to understand the delivery system and the main processes. This method recognizes both resources (inputs) and the (outputs) which refers to the activities carried out. Both the inputs and outputs are addressed together to ensure that quality of health care is improved. Q1 takes many forms and becomes the most effective if it outlines how the health care delivery system has resources, performs activities, and produces results. In order to understand the health care processes, which are taking place in the organization process mapping, is applicable (O’Dea, 2014). It provides a visual diagram of a sequence of events, which would result into a particular outcome. Reviewing the sequence of events by an organization will result in organizations performance improvement. Nevertheless, the tool may also be used in evaluating processes.

In conclusion, quality improvement Q1 process is very crucial. The above-discussed methods will take the organization into a different level if applied equally. No process is bigger than the other is, they are all equal, and combining them will make the health care facility a better place. Organizations having Q1 programs get many benefits if the process is implemented properly.

References

Al-Abri, R., & Al-Balushi, A. (2014). Patient satisfaction survey as a tool towards quality improvement. Oman Med J, 29(1), 3-7.

Nadeem, E., Olin, S. S., Hill, L. C., Hoagwood, K. E., & Horwitz, S. M. (2013). Understanding the components of quality improvement collaboratives: a systematic literature review. Milbank Quarterly, 91(2), 354-394.

O’Dea, Maryellen. “Process improvement.” (2014).

Tricco, A. C., Ivers, N. M., Grimshaw, J. M., Moher, D., Turner, L., Galipeau, J. … & Tonelli, M. (2012). Effectiveness of quality improvement strategies on the management of diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet, 379(9833), 2252-2261.

Unützer, J., Chan, Y. F., Hafer, E., Knaster, J., Shields, A., Powers, D., & Veith, R. C. (2012). Quality improvement with pay-for-performance incentives in integrated behavioral health care. American Journal of Public Health, 102(6), e41-e45.

US Department of Health and Human Services. (2012). Annual progress report to Congress: national strategy for quality improvement in health care. Washington, DC as of September 12, 2013.