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 13: Use of an Internal Audit in an Intermediate Care Facility1
In this case, an existing internal quality assurance audit was evaluated. The analysis of the data resulted in the design of a new one, and the new audit was evaluated.
Proving the Problem
Max was the residence director in an intermediate care facility (ICF) that provided services to mentally retarded and developmentally disabled adults. ICF facilities provide a range of services, including medical, social, recreational, clinical, and nutritional care and help in daily living needs. Residence staff provide 24-hour coverage in three shifts.
Max's agency managed 14 ICF residences. To help ensure that each residence house met standards and complied with state regulations, the organization had ...