In the current atmosphere of closer scrutiny of healthcare practices and procedures, front-line managers and health care providers must investigate potential problems in their work environment, whether at the behest of upper management, in order to meet Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) standards, or through their own sense that “weÆre doing something wrong.” For the investigator with limited previous experience in evaluation or research, the prospect of undertaking this kind of investigation can appear daunting, to say the least. Quality Improvement Projects in Health Care was written just for this individual. Author Eleanor Gilpatrick, a seasoned investigator and professor of health services administration, provides a review of the basic terminology and guidelines for carrying out “nuts-and-bolts” quality improvement research. She then demonstrates how such a research project can be implemented through 14 case studies involving actual health care situations. Altogether, the cases speak to a broad array of issues and potential pitfalls for the unwary investigatorŭand they show that progress can be made in even the most difficult circumstances. Quality Improvement Projects in Health Care will be of interest to students and professionals in health sciences administration, nursing, allied health, and public health.
Chapter 1: Basic Concepts
This book is addressed to the vast army of caring health professionals who, as middle-level managers, supervisors, service chiefs, quality assurance officers, or quality improvement team members, combine the search for quality with the need for efficiency; to the senior managers who are responsible for training staff to carry out continuous quality improvement; and to the students who will be entering their ranks.
If you are a middle-level manager in a health service organization or are involved in quality improvement, you are under constant pressure to solve problems or find opportunities for improvement. You balance the often conflicting interests of several constituencies, which management literature calls “stakeholders.” You find how best to serve your particular clients, whether they are called patients, residents, or ...