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
Timeliness of performance is one of the dimensions of quality care. This case demonstrated that excessive waiting for care can adversely affect patient outcomes. The case is the most complete of the series, going from proof of the existence of the problem to making the solutions operational.
Proving the Problem
Anna was the director of physical therapy at a 320-bed nursing home. She believed that residents were waiting too long to begin physical therapy, and she chose to take the initiative and investigate. Current hospital and long-term care accreditation standards include initial assessment and screening within 24 hours of admission, but there is ...