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.
Case 9: A Labor-Management Health and Safety Committee1
In this case, a committee organized to deal with occupational health and safety issues in a municipal agency was not functioning; as it turned out, the health and safety issues of the large staff were not being addressed.
Proving the Problem
Ira was a deputy assistant director in a large municipal agency. He had recently been assigned to represent management on a labor-management health and safety committee formed a year earlier. The committee's mission was to deal with environmental health and safety issues at all the local offices of the agency. To his surprise, Ira found that few problems ever came before the committee.
The agency was mandated, under the state's Public Employee Safety ...