Quality Improvement (quality + improvement)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Kinds of Quality Improvement

  • continuous quality improvement

  • Terms modified by Quality Improvement

  • quality improvement activity
  • quality improvement effort
  • quality improvement initiative
  • quality improvement intervention
  • quality improvement methods
  • quality improvement program
  • quality improvement programme
  • quality improvement project
  • quality improvement strategy

  • Selected Abstracts

    Tumescent Liposuction Report Performance Measurement Initiative: National Survey Results

    William Hanke MD
    Background. This study was created by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Institute for Quality Improvement to measure clinical performance and improvement opportunities for physicians and ambulatory health-care organizations. Data were collected prospectively between February 2001 and August 2002. Thirty-nine study centers participated, and 688 patients who had tumescent liposuction were surveyed and followed for 6 months. Objective. The objective was to determine patient satisfaction with tumescent liposuction and examine current liposuction practice and the safety of tumescent liposuction in a representative cohort of patients. Methods. The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Institute for Quality Improvement collected prospective data from February 2001 to August 2002 from 68 organizations registered for this study. Ultimately 39 organizations submitted 688 useable cases performed totally with local anesthesia, "tumescent technique." Results. The overall clinical complication rate found in the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Institute for Quality Improvement study was 0.7% (5 of 702). There was a minor complication rate of 0.57%. The major complication rate was 0.14% with one patient requiring hospitalization. Seventy-five percent of the patients reported no discomfort during their procedures. Of the 59% of patients who responded to a 6-month postoperative survey, 91% were positive about their decision to have liposuction (rating of 4 or 5 on a scale of 1,5) and 84% had high levels (4 or 5 on a scale of 1,5) of overall satisfaction with the procedure. Conclusions. Our findings are consistent with others in that tumescent liposuction is a safe procedure with a low complication rate and high patient satisfaction. [source]

    Quality assurance and benchmarking: an approach for European dental schools

    M. L. Jones
    Abstract:, This document was written by Task Force 3 of DentEd III, which is a European Union funded Thematic Network working under the auspices of the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE). It provides a guide to assist in the harmonisation of Dental Education Quality Assurance (QA) systems across the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). There is reference to the work, thus far, of DentEd, DentEd Evolves, DentEd III and the ADEE as they strive to assist the convergence of standards in dental education; obviously QA and benchmarking has an important part to play in the European HE response to the Bologna Process. Definitions of Quality, Quality Assurance, Quality Management and Quality Improvement are given and put into the context of dental education. The possible process and framework for Quality Assurance are outlined and some basic guidelines/recommendations suggested. It is recognised that Quality Assurance in Dental Schools has to co-exist as part of established Quality Assurance systems within faculties and universities, and that Schools also may have to comply with existing local or national systems. Perhaps of greatest importance are the 14 ,requirements' for the Quality Assurance of Dental Education in Europe. These, together with the document and its appendices, were unanimously supported by the ADEE at its General Assembly in 2006. As there must be more than one road to achieve a convergence or harmonisation standard, a number of appendices are made available on the ADEE website. These provide a series of ,toolkits' from which schools can ,pick and choose' to assist them in developing QA systems appropriate to their own environment. Validated contributions and examples continue to be most welcome from all members of the European dental community for inclusion at this website. It is realised that not all schools will be able to achieve all of these requirements immediately, by definition, successful harmonisation is a process that will take time. At the end of the DentEd III project, ADEE will continue to support the progress of all schools in Europe towards these aims. [source]

    Effectiveness of interventions to promote continuing professional development for dentists

    Helen A Best
    Background:, Continuing education is incumbent upon dentists as health professionals, but its promotion may be required, particularly in order to ensure regular professional updating. Continuing professional development may be delivered in a variety of ways, and new strategies and techniques must be evaluated for effectiveness. Aim:, To evaluate the effectiveness of two interventions utilizing the philosophies and techniques of the discipline of Quality Improvement. Method:, A self-assessment instrument (a manual) for quality dental practice was developed using the Delphi technique. A randomized, controlled trial of the interventions was conducted under field conditions for dental practice in Victoria, Australia. Dentists in Test Groups 1 and 2 completed the self-assessment manual, and received relevant references and their own scores for the manual in comparison with empirical standards. Dentists in Test Group 1 also attended a continuing education course on Quality Improvement. Dentists in Control Group 1 completed the manual only and received feedback of their scores. Dentists in Test Groups 1 and 2, and in Control Group 1 completed the manual again after 1 year as a post-intervention follow-up. Dentists in Control Group 2 completed the manual only at 1 year. Results:, The intervention involving self-assessment, receipt of scores and references for the manual resulted in modest improvements in total scores for dentists after 1 year, although a response bias was apparent. Conclusion:, An effective method of facilitating change in quality dental practice was identified. Assessment of strategies and techniques for professional development of dentists should include observation of patterns of participation. [source]

    Collaborative Clinical Quality Improvement for Pressure Ulcers in Nursing Homes

    (See editorial comments by Dr. George Taler on pp 167, 1675)
    The National Nursing Home Improvement Collaborative aimed to reduce pressure ulcer (PU) incidence and prevalence. Guided by subject matter and process experts, 29 quality improvement organizations and six multistate long-term care corporations recruited 52 nursing homes in 39 states to implement recommended practices using quality improvement methods. Facilities monitored monthly PU incidence and prevalence, healing, and adoption of key care processes. In residents at 35 regularly reporting facilities, the total number of new nosocomial Stage III to IV PUs declined 69%. The facility median incidence of Stage III to IV lesions declined from 0.3 per 100 occupied beds per month to 0.0 (P<.001) and the incidence of Stage II to IV lesions declined from 3.2 to 2.3 per 100 occupied beds per month (P=.03). Prevalence of Stage III to IV lesions trended down (from 1.3 to 1.1 residents affected per 100 occupied beds (P=.12). The incidence and prevalence of Stage II lesions and the healing time of Stage II to IV lesions remained unchanged. Improvement teams reported that Stage II lesions usually healed quickly and that new PUs corresponded with hospital transfer, admission, scars, obesity, and immobility and with noncompliant, younger, or newly declining residents. The publicly reported quality measure, prevalence of Stage I to IV lesions, did not improve. Participants documented disseminating methods and tools to more than 5,359 contacts in other facilities. Results suggest that facilities can reduce incidence of Stage III to IV lesions, that the incidence of Stage II lesions may not correlate with the incidence of Stage III to IV lesions, and that the publicly reported quality measure is insensitive to substantial improvement. The project demonstrated multiple opportunities in collaborative quality improvement, including improving the measurement of quality and identifying research priorities, as well as improving care. [source]

    Quality Improvement in Pediatric Radiofrequency Ablation

    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    Quality Improvement and Changes in Diabetic Patient Outcomes in an Academic Nurse Practitioner Primary Care Practice

    FAANP, Thomas A. Mackey PhD
    Purpose To examine a set of system interventions in the management of patients with diabetes and the outcomes of their care. Data sources Preintervention and postintervention data collected from electronic medical records. Conclusions The sample size was smaller than expected, contributing to a lack of statistical significance from preintervention to postintervention in the patient outcome measures. The systems-level variables that were under the direct control of the clinic staff (e.g., pneumococcal vaccine given) showed great improvement. In the preintervention period, the percentage of "yes" responses to the system-level variables ranged from 8 to 24 and jumped to 16 to 95 after the intervention. Implications for practice Unequivocally, this project demonstrated that systems-level changes result in improved care being provided to patients; however, these had minimal impact on the patient outcome variables. Promoting change in patient behavior is difficult, which may have contributed to the lack of significance in this area, while the variables under the direct control of the clinic staff were more easily changed. [source]

    Variation Mode and Effect Analysis: a Practical Tool for Quality Improvement

    Per Johansson
    Abstract This paper describes a statistically based engineering method, variation mode and effect analysis (VMEA), that facilitates an understanding of variation and highlights the product/process areas in which improvement efforts should be targeted. An industrial application is also described to illustrate how the VMEA can be used for quality improvement purposes. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Quality Improvement from the Viewpoint of Statistical Method

    Jeroen De Mast
    Abstract With the purpose of guiding professionals in conducting improvement projects in industry, several quality improvement strategies have been proposed which strongly rely on statistical methods. Examples are the Six Sigma programme, the Shainin System and Taguchi's methods. This paper seeks to make a rational reconstruction of these types of improvement strategies, which results in a methodological framework. The paper gives a demarcation of the subject of study and proposes a reconstruction research approach. Thereupon, the elements of the methodological framework are listed and briefly discussed. Finally, the effectiveness of the framework is illustrated by showing to what extent it reconstructs Six Sigma's Breakthrough Cookbook. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    The role and function of quality assurance officers in Ontario hospitals

    Kent V. Rondeau
    Abstract This article examines the role and job function of quality assurance officers in hospitals in Ontario, Canada. Results from a mail questionnaire suggest that hospital quality assurance professionals in our sample are much more likely to be female, at mid-career, and to have advanced graduate degrees, although most lack professional certification and formal training in quality management. Although the job duties of hospital quality assurance professionals are broad and varied, many report being engaged in traditional quality assurance managerial activities including hospital accreditation efforts, risk management assessment, and patient satisfaction measurement. Coordinating quality assurance activities, performance reporting, and leading the Total Quality Management (TQM)/Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) initiative remain central functions associated with their work efforts. Nevertheless, limited formal training in the principles and methods of quality management and improvement may be placing significant constraints on their effectiveness. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Raising the Bar: A Plea for Standardization and Quality Improvement in the Practice of Breast Pathology

    THE BREAST JOURNAL, Issue 5 2006
    Shahla Masood MD Editor-In-Chief
    First page of article [source]

    Brief Report: Quality Improvement in Critical Access Hospitals: Addressing Immunizations Prior to Discharge

    Edward F. Ellerbeck MD
    These hospitalizations may represent a missed opportunity to address immunizations. Addressing these missed immunizations could provide an opportunity for CAHs to gain practical experience in data-driven quality improvement. Purpose: To improve documentation and delivery of influenza and pneumococcal immunizations prior to hospital discharge and provide CAHs with quality improvement experience. Methods: We recruited 17 CAHs in Kansas to participate in a rapidcycle quality improvement project to address inpatient immunizations. Each hospital identified patient discharges on a monthly basis and abstracted medical records to see if the patient's immunization status had been assessed and if patients had been vaccinated prior to discharge. Findings: Documentation of influenza immunization status improved from 17% of admissions at baseline to 62% at follow-up (P<0.001). Documentation of pneumococcal immunization status increased from 36% at baseline to 51% at follow-up (P<0.001). Documentation of immunizations was significantly higher among the 8 hospitals that developed standard charting forms for recording immunization status (P<0.01). Despite improved documentation of immunization status, at remeasurement only 3.4% received an influenza vaccination and 1.3% received a pneumococcal vaccination prior to discharge. Conclusions: Critical access hospitals can effectively participate in quality improvement activities, but increased involvement of medical staff or standing immunization orders may be needed to improve actual vaccine administration prior to discharge. [source]

    Innovations in the Assessment of Transplant Center Performance: Implications for Quality Improvement

    D. A. Axelrod
    Continuous quality improvement efforts have become a central focus of leading health care organizations. The transplant community has been a pioneer in periodic review of clinical outcomes to ensure the optimal use of limited donor organs. Through data collected from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) and analyzed by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR), transplantation professionals have intermittent access to specific, accurate and clinically relevant data that provides information to improve transplantation. Statistical process control techniques, including cumulative sum charts (CUSUM), are designed to provide continuous, real-time assessment of clinical outcomes. Through the use of currently collected data, CUSUMs can be constructed that provide risk-adjusted program-specific data to inform quality improvement programs. When retrospectively compared to currently available data reporting, the CUSUM method was found to detect clinically significant changes in center performance more rapidly, which has the potential to inform center leadership and enhance quality improvement efforts. [source]

    The Clinical Value Compass: Achieving Benchmarking and Quality Improvement in Aged Care

    Michael Woodward
    Quality measurement and benchmarking in aged care presents several challenges. A model which addresses this by linking four dimensions of outcomes has been developed - the Clinical Value Compass (CVC). A CVC was developed for stroke rehabilitation and measured across four sites. The CVC was well accepted by the treatment teams and proved practical to measure. The results revealed differences in practices and client groups that led to a closer analysis of processes and subsequent changes in these processes. Remeasuring of the CVC is required to demonstrate improved outcomes arising from these process changes. [source]

    Quality improvement and its impact on the use and equality of outpatient health services in India

    HEALTH ECONOMICS, Issue 8 2007
    Krishna Dipankar Rao
    Abstract This paper examines the impact of quality improvements in conjunction with user fees on the utilization and equality of outpatient services at a range of public sector health facilities in India. Project impact on outpatient visits was estimated via the difference-in-difference method using pooled time series visit data from project and control facilities. The results indicate that the quality improvements significantly increased visits at all facility types. The project effect was largest at primary health center (PHC) and community health center (CHC), followed by district hospital (DH) and female district hospital (FDH). Pro-rich inequalities in outpatient visits increased at DHs and FDHs while at CHCs and PHCs the distribution remained equitable. This suggests that quality improvements at public sector health facilities can increase utilization of outpatient services in the presence of nominal user fees, but can also promote greater inequality favoring the better-off. At the referral hospital level, quality improvements should be made in conjuction with programs which encourage utilization by the poor. In contrast, the benefit of quality improvements at PHCs and CHCs is equitably distributed. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Measuring the opinions of memory clinic users: patients, relatives and general practitioners

    H. P. J. van Hout
    Abstract Background The opinions of memory clinic users are important to assess the value of memory clinics. Objective To measure the quality of care of an outpatient memory clinic for the elderly as perceived by patients, their relatives and general practitioners (GPs). Methods An observational study was conducted to measure the opinions of the users of a typical outpatient memory clinic. Opinions on five aspects were measured: (1) communication of the results, (2) provision of diagnostic information, (3) attitude of the clinicians, (4) usefulness of the medical assessment, and (5) information and advice to relatives. Patients and relatives were both interviewed with a dementia care satisfaction questionnaire. The GPs' opinions were derived with a self-constructed questionnaire. Results On 105 consecutive assessments, 101 opinions of GPs, 81 of caregivers and 31 of patients were recorded. Positive opinions were recorded on the way the results were communicated, the usefulness of the assessment and attitude of the clinicians. In contrast to GPs and relatives, patients were less positive about the clarity of the diagnostic information received. Both relatives and GPs were negative on information and advice to relatives. Conclusions Patients, caregivers and GPs had positive opinions about the diagnostic value of the memory clinic. Quality improvement could focus on the clarity of the diagnostic information for patients and on better advice to relatives. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Quality improvement through consumer sorting and disposal

    Peyton Ferrier
    Sorting allows consumers to capture the value of quality differences. As higher quality goods are removed, the value of the seller's remaining stock falls, lowering the price and profits. Bundling and other marketing mechanisms can discourage sorting and prevent the depreciation of the seller's stock. With comparative statics and simulations, the author shows that sellers can increase expected quality and profits by committing to discard a proportion of their resale stock after sorting occurs. In this manner, sorting acts similarly to agricultural grading. [EconLit Classification: Q1, Q11, Q13, L0, L1, D8, D82]. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

    The role of the hospitalist in quality improvement: Systems for improving the care of patients with acute coronary syndrome,

    Chad T. Whelan MD
    Abstract Quality improvement (QI) initiatives for systems of care are vital to deliver quality care for patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and hospitalists are instrumental to the QI process. Core hospitalist competencies include the development of protocols and outcomes measures that support quality of care measures established for ACS. The hospitalist may lead, coordinate, or participate in a multidisciplinary team that designs, implements, and assesses an institutional system of care to address rapid identification of patients with ACS, medication safety, safe discharge, and meeting core measures that are quality benchmarks for ACS. The use of metrics and tools such as process flow mapping and run charts can identify quality gaps and show progress toward goals. These tools may be used to assess whether critical timeframes are met, such as the time to fibrinolysis or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), or whether patients receive guideline-recommended medications and counseling. At the institutional level, Project BOOST (Better Outcomes for Older Adults Through Safe Transitions) is an initiative designed to improve outcomes in elderly patients who are at higher risk for adverse events during the transition from inpatient to outpatient care. BOOST offers resources related to project management and data collection, and tools for patients and physicians. Collection and analysis of objective data are essential for documenting quality gaps or achievement of quality benchmarks. Through QI initiatives, the hospitalist has an opportunity to contribute to an institution's success beyond direct patient care, particularly as required for public disclosure of institutional performance and financial incentives promoted by regulatory agencies. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2010;5:S1,S7. © 2010 Society of Hospital Medicine. [source]

    Nursing leadership and management effects work environments

    Aim, The aim of this literature search was to identify recent research related to nursing leadership and management effects on work environment using the 14 forces of magnetism. Background, This article gives some historical perspective from the original 1983 American Academy of Nursing study through to the 2002 McClure and Hinshaw update to 2009 publications. Evaluation, Research publications were given a priority for references. Key issues, The 14 forces of magnetism as identified by Unden and Monarch were: ,1. Quality of leadership,, 2. Organizational structure,, 3. Management style,, 4. Personnel policies and programs,, 5. Professional models of care,, 6. Quality of care,, 7 Quality improvement,, 8. Consultation and resources,, 9. Autonomy,, 10. Community and the hospital,, 11. Nurse as teacher,, 12. Image of nursing,, 13. Interdisciplinary relationships, and 14. Professional development,.'. Conclusions, Correlations have been found among positive workplace management initiatives, style of transformational leadership and participative management; patient-to-nurse ratios; education levels of nurses; quality of patient care, patient satisfaction, employee health and well-being programmes; nurse satisfaction and retention of nurses; healthy workplace environments and healthy patients and personnel. Implications for nursing management, This article identifies some of the research that provides evidence for evidence-based nursing management and leadership practice. [source]

    Quality improvement and hospital financial performance

    Jeffrey A. Alexander
    The objective of this study was to examine the association between the scope and intensity of Quality improvement (QI) implementation in hospitals and organizational performance. A sample of 1,784 community hospitals was used to assess relationships between QI implementation approach and two hospital-level performance indicators: cash flow and cost per case. Two-stage instrumental variables estimation, in which predicted values (instruments) of eight QI intensity and scope variables plus control (exogenous) variables were used to estimate hospital-level performance indicators. Our results suggest that QI has a measurable impact on global measures of organizational performance and that both control and leaning approaches to QI matter in these settings. Hospitals that implement QI effectively can reasonably expect to improve their financial and cost performance, or at least not place the hospital at risk for investing in quality improvement. These outcomes are specific to QI strategies that emphasize both control and learning. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Establishing a standardized quality management system for the European Health Network GA2LEN,

    ALLERGY, Issue 6 2010
    L. Heinzerling
    To cite this article: Heinzerling L, Burbach G, van Cauwenberge P, Papageorgiou P, Carlsen K-H, Lødrup Carlsen KC, Zuberbier T. Establishing a standardized quality management system for the European Health Network GA2LEN. Allergy 2010; 65: 743,752. Abstract Background:, Quality management is increasingly important in clinical practice. The Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA2LEN) is a network of clinical and scientific excellence with originally 25 allergy centres in 16 European countries, a scientific society (European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology), and a patient organization (European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients' Associations). Although some allergy centres adhere to internal quality criteria, the implementation of a standardized quality management system for allergy centres across Europe was lacking. Objectives:, To implement standardized quality criteria among allergy centres organized within GA2LEN and thus ensure equal standards of diagnosis and care as well as to establish a culture of continuous quality improvement. Methods:, Quality criteria covering, e.g., diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and emergency preparedness to assure patient safety were developed and agreed upon by all 25 participating centres. To assure implementation of quality criteria, centres were audited to check quality indicators and document deviations. A follow-up survey was used to assess the usefulness of the project. Results:, Deviations were documented mainly in the areas of emergency care/patient safety (27.3% lacked regular emergency training of doctors and nurses; 22.7% inadequate emergency intervention equipment; 22.7% lacked critical incidence reporting/root cause analyses) and handling of extracts/pharmaceuticals (31.8% lacked temperature logs of fridges; 4.5% inadequate check of expiration dates). Quality improvement was initiated as shown by findings of re-audits. Usefulness of the project was rated high. Conclusion:, The establishment of a quality management system with joint standards of care and harmonized procedures can be achieved in an international health network and ensures quality of care. [source]

    Improving service delivery by evaluation of the referral pattern and capacity in a clinical genetics setting,,

    Emma McCann§
    Abstract Quality improvement in specialist services such as clinical genetics is challenging largely due to the complexity of the service and the difficulty in obtaining accurate, reproducible, and measurable data. The objectives were to evaluate the pattern of referrals to the All Wales Medical Genetics Service (AWMGS) North Wales Genetics team based in three separate hospitals, define the capacity of the team and implement change to improve equity, timeliness and efficiency of care delivery to patients. The methodology required collating the monthly referral rates retrospectively for each center over a 2.5-year period and plotting on statistical process control charts. Process mapping of the referral process in each center was undertaken, differences documented and a common pathway implemented. "Did not attend" and "time to first appointment" rates were also measured in one center. PDSA methodology was used to implement "patient focused booking." The results show that the range for referral rates in any given month for each center was 3,33 referrals. The range for referral rate for the whole team was 18,64 per month. Since January 2004 the average number of monthly referrals to the North Wales service has increased by 50%. The potential range in monthly referrals varies between centers and the range of the variability has also increased also in two out of the three centers. Introduction of Patient Focused Booking reduced the "Failed to Attend" rate and 100% of patients were offered a choice of appointments. In addition 100% had a first face-to-face contact within 6 weeks if they chose. The measurement of improvement involved firstly introducing a series of continuous measures to provide a baseline for the process prior to the implementation of any changes and secondly to indicate the impact of the changes following implementation. The measures implemented included process (referrals numbers, percentage of patients offered a choice of appointments), outcome (percentage of patients seen within 6 weeks and the percentage failing to attend), and balancing measures (percentage declining the service or failing to respond). It was concluded that general tools of quality improvement can be used to good effect within specialist services. Good processes and accurate, reproducible and measurable data are essential. Small changes can have a major impact both on the quality of the service offered and the ability to deliver the service. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Case Mix, Quality and High-Cost Kidney Transplant Patients

    M. J. Englesbe
    A better understanding of high-cost kidney transplant patients would be useful for informing value-based purchasing strategies by payers. This retrospective cohort study was based on the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) files from 2003 to 2006. The focus of this analysis was high-cost kidney transplant patients (patients that qualified for Medicare outlier payments and 30-day readmission payments). Using regression techniques, we explored relationships between high-cost kidney transplant patients, center-specific case mix, and center quality. Among 43 393 kidney transplants in Medicare recipients, 35.2% were categorized as high-cost patients. These payments represented 20% of total Medicare payments for kidney transplantation and exceeded $200 million over the study period. Case mix was associated with these payments and was an important factor underlying variation in hospital payments high-cost patients. Hospital quality was also a strong determinant of future Medicare payments for high-cost patients. Compared to high-quality centers, low-quality centers cost Medicare an additional $1185 per kidney transplant. Payments for high-cost patients represent a significant proportion of the total costs of kidney transplant surgical care. Quality improvement may be an important strategy for reducing the costs of kidney transplantation. [source]

    CPA assessment , the regional assessors' experience

    CYTOPATHOLOGY, Issue 2007
    E. Welsh
    Many individuals within Laboratory Medicine will be unaware that CPA conducts assessments to two different sets of CPA Standards. There are the Standards for the Medical Laboratory and the Standards for EQA Schemes in Laboratory Medicine. The style and format of both sets of standards is very similar with each being presented in eight sections A , H. The EQA standards are almost identical to the laboratory standards with the exception of the E.F and G standards which are specific to EQA schemes. There are approximately 40 EQA Schemes registered with CPA compared with almost 2 500 laboratories. These EQA schemes vary from very large national/international schemes with numerous analytes to small interpretive schemes run by one individual with a personal interest in that specific subject. The large schemes usually come under the UKNEQAS consortia banner and due to their size and configuration do not present undue problems in the assessment process. Smaller interpretive EQA schemes present a challenge both for the scheme and CPA in gaining accreditation. These schemes are usually within the discipline of Histopathology and are regarded as educational rather than proficiency testing schemes. Very frequently, the scheme is organized by a single individual with a collection of microscope slides, storage facilities for the slides and a computer. This presents the Scheme Organizer with great difficulty in complying with the Quality Management System requirements of the CPA Standards. There are a number of models which can be applied in order to satisfy the requirement of the Quality Management System, but ultimately it must be recognized that in some circumstances it is not possible to accredit these small schemes. The NHSCSP Gynae Cytology EQA Scheme is probably the largest EQA scheme within the UK, in respect of the number of participants and the number of staff supporting the scheme. Scheme Management decided that all nine regions of England would apply for accreditation under one CPA Reference Number. This process meant that the scheme would be assessed as a Managed Pathology Network. This is unique in terms of EQA schemes and presented a number of problems not previously encountered in EQA scheme accreditation. This decision meant that all nine regions must comply with a single Quality Management System and other CPA standards whilst allowing flexibility within the system for each region to facilitate the assessment process specific to their user's requirements. The process worked in a satisfactory manner and the overall outcome was not dissimilar to that of other large EQA schemes. The assessment to the current EQA Standards only commenced in April 2006 whilst the Standards for Medical Laboratories commenced in 2003, and it is perhaps not surprising to find that the principal non-conformities are related to the Quality Management System. This parallels the findings encountered in laboratory accreditation. There is an ongoing educational process for Scheme Management and the Facilitators in each region in how to comply fully with the standards and a commitment to quality improvement which ultimately is beneficial to the participant's of the scheme and to patient safety. [source]

    Capital quality improvement and the sources of economic growth in the euro area

    ECONOMIC POLICY, Issue 42 2005
    Plutarchos Sakellaris
    SUMMARY Capital quality improvement and Euroland growth Sources of growth Europe's growth slowed in the 1990s, reinforcing the overall impression of a need to catch up with the US regarding standards of living. In reaction, EU leaders adopted the famous Lisbon Agenda in 2000. The Agenda is now under review, the aim being to determine why progress on its pro-growth goals has been unsatisfactory and what can be done about it. The first crucial step in this process is to understand the true sources of the European growth slowdown. Sources-of-growth calculations have always been imprecise, but evidence from the US suggests that ,quality upgrading', especially in capital goods , has substantially worsened the precision problem since the 1990s. Unfortunately, quality adjusted sources-of-growth calculations, however, have not performed satisfactorily for Europe, so Europe's leaders are working with potentially misleading accounts of Europe's growth slowdown. Redressing this omission is the goal of this paper. Failure to account properly for capital quality improvements leads to two mistakes. First, overall GDP is underestimated. Our calculations, for example, show that euro area GDP growth was underestimated on average by 0.7 percentage points annually in the late 1990s. However, similar quality-adjustment figures raise US growth figures in the same period by even more, so quality-adjusting suggests that the US,EU growth gap was even more pronounced than previously believed. Secondly, the sources-of-growth calculations used to prioritize Europe's pro-growth policies are skewed. Our calculations show that the contribution of the slowdown in disembodied technical progress to the overall slowdown is more pronounced after quality adjustment. Our findings point to the need for adoption of microeconomic measures aimed at enhancing overall efficiency and boosting innovation activity. Such measures would aim at a better business environment, e.g. by easing regulatory and administrative burden and liberalizing energy and telecommunications markets. , Plutarchos Sakellaris and Focco Vijselaar [source]

    Injectable opiate maintenance in the UK: is it good clinical practice?

    ADDICTION, Issue 4 2001
    Deborah Zador
    This paper reviews the current practice of injectable opiate treatment (IOT) in the United Kingdom, i.e. the "British system" of prescribing injectable heroin and methadone, and considers some of the clinical and ethical issues it raises. There is very limited research evidence supporting either the safety or effectiveness of IOT as practised in Britain. In particular there is almost no evaluation of long-term outcomes of IOT, which is of potential concern given the possibility of some patients remaining indefinitely in IOT, the risk of vascular complications, and its higher cost compared with oral maintenance. It would be easy to assess this controversial intervention as in need of further research. However, striving towards best practice in IOT involves more than generating evidence. The likelihood of a patient receiving IOT in the United Kingdom appears to be influenced more by the personal inclinations of prescribers than by outcome data (if any), or identified community needs for access to IOT. The author asks is this good clinical practice and is it sustainable? The "British system" needs to modernise itself consistent with international paradigms of continuous quality improvement, and the NHS's own agenda of clinical governance. [source]

    Quality Culture: understandings, boundaries and linkages

    As part of the process of enhancing quality, quality culture has become a taken-for-granted concept intended to support development and improvement processes in higher education. By taking a theoretical approach to examining quality culture, starting with a scholarly examination of the concept of culture, and exploring how it is related to quality, quality improvement and quality assurance, the aim of this paper is to create a better understanding of how one can make sense of quality culture, its boundaries but also its links to the fundamental processes of teaching and learning. [source]

    Toward a more efficient and effective neurologic examination for the 21st century,

    T. H. Glick
    Practice pressures and quality improvement require greater efficiency and effectiveness in the neurologic examination. I hypothesized that certain ,marginal' elements of the examination rarely add value and that ,core' elements, exemplified by the plantar response (Babinski), are too often poorly performed or interpreted. I analyzed 100 published, neurologic clinicopathologic conferences (CPCs) and 180 ambulatory neurologic consultations regarding 13 hypothetically ,marginal' examination components (including ,frontal' reflexes, olfaction, jaw strength, corneal reflex, etc.); also, 120 exams on medical inpatients with neurologic problems, recording definitive errors. I surveyed the recalled practices of 24 non-neurologists and reviewed the literature for relevant data or guidance. In the CPCs the ,marginal' elements of the examination were rarely provided, requested, or used diagnostically, nor did they contribute in the 180 ambulatory consultations. In the chart review errors and omissions dominated testing of plantar responses, with missed Babinski signs in 14% of all cases and 77% of patients with Babinski signs. House officers harbored unrealistic expectations for performance of ,marginal' examination elements. Most textbooks omit detailed guidance (and none cite evidence) on achieving greater efficiency. Exams should be streamlined, while improving ,core' skills. Neurologists should apply evidence to update the exam taught to students and non-neurologists. [source]

    Investment in quality improvement: how to maximize the return

    HEALTH ECONOMICS, Issue 1 2010
    Afschin Gandjour
    Abstract Today, one of the most pressing concerns of health-care policymakers in industrialized countries are deficits in the quality of health care. This paper presents a decision program that addresses the question in which disease areas and at what intensity to invest in quality improvement (QI) in order to maximize population health. The decision program considers both a budget constraint as well as time constraints of educators and health professionals to participate in educational activities. The calculations of the model are based on a single assumption which is that more intense quality efforts lead to larger QIs, but with diminishing returns. This assumption has been validated by previous studies. All other relationships described by the model are deduced from this assumption. The model uses data from QI trials published in the literature. Thus, it is able to assess how the vast number of published QI strategies compare in terms of their value. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Involving mental health service users in quality assurance

    Jenny Weinstein BPhil BA(Hons) Msc
    Abstract Objective, This study compares the process and outcomes of two approaches to engaging mental health (MH) service users in the quality assurance (QA) process. Background, QA plays a significant role in health and care services, including those delivered in the voluntary sector. The importance of actively, rather than passively, involving service users in evaluation and service development has been increasingly recognized during the last decade. Design, This retrospective small-scale study uses document analysis to compare two QA reviews of a MH Day Centre, one that took place in 1998 as a traditional inspection-type event and one that took place in 2000 as a collaborative process with a user-led QA agenda. Setting and participants, The project was undertaken with staff, volunteers and service users in a voluntary sector MH Day Centre. Intervention, The study compares the management, style, evaluation tools and service user responses for the two reviews; it considers staff perspectives and discusses the implications of a collaborative, user-led QA process for service development. Results, The first traditional top,down inspection-type QA event had less ownership from service users and staff and served the main purpose of demonstrating that services met organizational standards. The second review, undertaken collaboratively with a user-led agenda focused on different priorities, evolving a new approach to seeking users' views and achieving a higher response rate. Conclusions, Because both users and staff had participated in most aspects of the second review they were more willing to work together and action plan to improve the service. It is suggested that the process contributed to an evolving ethos of more effective quality improvement and user involvement within the organization. [source]

    Clinical Practice Guideline Implementation Strategy Patterns in Veterans Affairs Primary Care Clinics

    Sylvia J. Hysong
    Background. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mandated the system-wide implementation of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) in the mid-1990s, arming all facilities with basic resources to facilitate implementation; despite this resource allocation, significant variability still exists across VA facilities in implementation success. Objective. This study compares CPG implementation strategy patterns used by high and low performing primary care clinics in the VA. Research Design. Descriptive, cross-sectional study of a purposeful sample of six Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) with high and low performance on six CPGs. Subjects. One hundred and two employees (management, quality improvement, clinic personnel) involved with guideline implementation at each VAMC primary care clinic. Measures. Participants reported specific strategies used by their facility to implement guidelines in 1-hour semi-structured interviews. Facilities were classified as high or low performers based on their guideline adherence scores calculated through independently conducted chart reviews. Findings. High performing facilities (HPFs) (a) invested significantly in the implementation of the electronic medical record and locally adapting it to provider needs, (b) invested dedicated resources to guideline-related initiatives, and (c) exhibited a clear direction in their strategy choices. Low performing facilities exhibited (a) earlier stages of development for their electronic medical record, (b) reliance on preexisting resources for guideline implementation, with little local adaptation, and (c) no clear direction in their strategy choices. Conclusion. A multifaceted, yet targeted, strategic approach to guideline implementation emphasizing dedicated resources and local adaptation may result in more successful implementation and higher guideline adherence than relying on standardized resources and taxing preexisting channels. [source]