Areas of focus should be based on the quality priorities in the department, the specialty, and national initiatives. A number of factors should be considered in identifying areas of priority:
a. Strength of evidence for improvement efforts
b. High clinical significance and impact from the improvement initiative
c. Appropriate metrics (measurements) easily available and accessible for process or outcome measures
d. Established or available benchmarks
e. Appropriate expertise available to lead the improvement efforts
f. Diverse group of projects
This alignment will reveal potential hospital-wide resources that can be utilized to advance the department's quality agenda. This can also ensure that if there are available resources in the future, the leadership team can help create synergies.
a. Identifying leaders and champions: for each area of priority, assign a leader who will be accountable and ensure progress. The leader should clearly identify:
This process should also include:
These parameters should be closely followed by the champion. Various tracking methods such as the one proposed below can be used:
- Lives saved
- Dollars saved
Metrics and Baseline Data
Outcomes and Timeline (long and short term)
b. Creating a dashboard to track improvement:
c. Recognizing early adopters: proactively identify health care providers (attendings, residents, nurses, pharmacists) who are engaged in quality improvement efforts and work with them toward achieving objectives.
d. Creating teams: align projects with interests of other health care providers by illustrating direct benefit to the provider - this can be in time savings and simplification of work processes to help address demanding schedules.
e. Empowering staff to see themselves as leaders: can be accomplished through launching a QI Retreat, actively celebrating and highlighting success, and establishing monthly Care Coordination meetings
f. Provide incentives (financial and/or recognition) for leaders and key champions of the quality program: this should be build into the cost savings that will occur from establishing the quality program
a. Track results by monitoring progress
b. Address barriers to improvement in real-time
c. Create a position dedicated to ensuring progress of the department's quality priorities: director of quality (RN, NP, MD)
d. Actively re-assess progress, set new goals and celebrate success