What is Quality Improvement?
What does it have to do with healthcare?
And why should YOU care?
Healthcare QUALITY is a measure of the care provided by an organization. Simply put, how safe and satisfying is the care? While this is often measured based on outcomes that are then compared to other organizations, the true essence of "QUALITY CARE" should manifest from an organization's own self-reflection and genuine desire to always improve and never stop reaching for an even higher degree of excellence.
To IMPROVE the quality of care that we provide does not simply mean that we can throw solutions at problems, based on very little information that's been provided by those who are removed from the direct care provided. To efficiently and thoughtfully improve the care we provide requires listening to the voices on the frontline who are directly providing the care, to equip them with evidence-based problem-solving skills, and empower them to sustain the improved practices and processes that are implemented.
This is so much easier said than done due to the increasingly complex, various factors that impact the healthcare system. But it can be done. And this is becoming more evident as healthcare systems across the world begin to adopt and embrace problem-solving methodologies and tools that can be used by anyone, at any level within an organization, all with the same goal… to provide the best person-centered care possible.
The following video is a great introduction to "Quality Improvement in Healthcare" and why we should ALL care.
NEW LEGISLATION! The "real" impact and need for QI support and training:
In 2017, the Oregon Legislative Assembly passed into law House Bill 3359, which enacts a variety of changes to licensed facilities serving older adults. One of these changes includes mandated annual quality metrics reporting for facilities. The purpose of this reporting is to measure and compare performance of residential care and assisted living facilities across the state, with the first year of data collection starting in 2019 for reporting by January 31, 2020. The first report will be published July 1, 2020.
The initial set of metrics that will be reported are:
- Retention of direct care staff.
- Number of resident falls that result in injury.
- Incidence of use of antipsychotic medications for non-standard purposes.
- Compliance with staff training requirements.
- Results of annual resident satisfaction survey conducted by an independent entity.
QI hot topics!
QI tools and tips
These resources were developed with financial support from the Oregon Department of Human Services (Grant Agreement # 150472: Academic and Practice Partnerships to Strengthen Care for Older Adults in Residential and Assisted Living Settings, J. Cartwright, PI).