Are you looking to get started on a hospital-based quality improvement project? The Society of Hospital Medicine’s (SHM’s) Quality 101 resources draw from the knowledge and experience of renowned national experts in the field of quality and patient safety. Quality 101 showcases six important points critical to the success of quality improvement in the hospital.
When defining interventions to improve quality, it is critical to reduce variation in the way care processes are implemented. The key concept is routine. Doing a complex activity the same way each time is the best way to make sure nothing is left out.
Why is routine important? Across a population of patients, one of the most common sources of suboptimal care arises from provider inconsistency. For a variety of reasons providers inevitably vary care inappropriately, whether compared to each other or compared to themselves. In fact, a graph that depicts improved system performance over time almost always shows a progressive narrowing of the range of performance data points. In a powerful way, standard processes improve care by specifically reducing this unnecessary variation in performance, from medical decision making to ordering.
The best processes, however, preserve our ability to customize care for special patient situations or circumstances. In contrast to variation that arises from provider behavior, variation from the process because of special patient situations is always acceptable. The process or interventions should make that clear.
The following is a review of some principles for effective implementation of interventions:
If you need additional support in leading a quality improvement effort, SHM’s signature programs can guide your team through each phase and provide individual mentoring in areas such as care transitions (Project BOOST®), Glycemic Control (GC), Medication Reconciliation (MARQUIS), Atrial Fibrillation (AFIB) and Venous Thromboembolism (VTE). We also provide resources by clinical topic to help you find exactly what you need.
No matter where you are in the spectrum, SHM can assist you in your efforts. SHM encourages you to join the QI community and view the calendar for up to date information on key events and discussions around the quality and innovation movement.
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