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 10: Nurse Attendance at Mandated Classes in an Outpatient Department1
In this case, the internal consultant was a catalyst. Changes were implemented even before the study was completed.
Proving the Problem
The Problem and Importance
Jan was a head nurse in a freestanding outpatient department of a municipal hospital. Staff involved in patient care were required to attend six continuing education classes per year provided by the hospital. Jan initiated her project because she thought that staff were probably not attending each of these classes once a year as mandated, and probably were not attending the first time classes were scheduled by the Department of Staff Development. The classes were:
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and HIV Infection
- Infection ...