Quality Improvement Projects in Health Care: Problem Solving in the Workplace

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Overview

This book provides a review of basic terminology and offers guidelines to the untrained researcher for carrying out 'nuts-and-bolts' quality improvement research. Fourteen case studies involving actual health care situations help to demonstrate how such a research project can be implemented.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

In the current atmosphere of closer scrutiny of health care 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 "we’re 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 investigator and they show that progress can be made in even the most difficult circumstances.

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Editorial Reviews

Charles Runge
This is a manual of quality improvement for healthcare managers. It is presented in two parts: ""Basic Concepts & Manual,"" and ""Cases."" The purpose is to provide a specific, concrete how-to manual for quality improvement. This objective is somewhat worthy. As the author suggests, there is little how-to information in the current literature. However, most of the tools the author describes are presented in the quality improvement training sessions offered by many health services organizations. Nonetheless, the book definitely meets the author's objectives. According to the author, this book is for ""problem solvers and quality improvers in health services organizations and for students preparing to join them."" The author's target audience is appropriate. The book is most valuable for department managers, service chiefs, and front line supervisors, and somewhat valuable for the senior administrators who oversee them. The author is a credible authority, based on her academic credentials, experience collaborating with health services organizations, and the book's content. All of the common quality improvement tools for each phase of the quality improvement process, including problem identification, cause analysis, solution identification, implementation, and monitoring are described. The author makes extensive use of examples (charts, graphs, tables). The case examples are appropriate and instructive. This book represents a significant contribution to the literature in exactly the manner in which the author intends -- a detailed how-to manual for front-line problem solvers. The content is accurate, well organized, and very clearly presented. While much of the content is already coveredelsewhere, this book can serve as a useful reference when the details of training fade, as they inevitably do.
From The Critics
Reviewer: Charles Runge (Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital)
Description: This is a manual of quality improvement for healthcare managers. It is presented in two parts: "Basic Concepts & Manual," and "Cases."
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a specific, concrete how-to manual for quality improvement. This objective is somewhat worthy. As the author suggests, there is little how-to information in the current literature. However, most of the tools the author describes are presented in the quality improvement training sessions offered by many health services organizations. Nonetheless, the book definitely meets the author's objectives.
Audience: According to the author, this book is for "problem solvers and quality improvers in health services organizations and for students preparing to join them." The author's target audience is appropriate. The book is most valuable for department managers, service chiefs, and front line supervisors, and somewhat valuable for the senior administrators who oversee them. The author is a credible authority, based on her academic credentials, experience collaborating with health services organizations, and the book's content.
Features: All of the common quality improvement tools for each phase of the quality improvement process, including problem identification, cause analysis, solution identification, implementation, and monitoring are described. The author makes extensive use of examples (charts, graphs, tables). The case examples are appropriate and instructive.
Assessment: This book represents a significant contribution to the literature in exactly the manner in which the author intends:a detailed how-to manual for front-line problem solvers. The content is accurate, well organized, and very clearly presented. While much of the content is already covered elsewhere, this book can serve as a useful reference when the details of training fade, as they inevitably do.
Booknews
Gilpatrick (health services, City U. of New York) provides the basic terminology and guidelines for carrying out nuts-and-bolts quality improvement research, and demonstrates how to do it on 14 case studies from real life. For middle-level managers and administrators who need to conduct chronic or acute research at the department or service level, she explains data collection design and analysis related to organizational processes and outcomes. She does not consider the clinical evaluation of treatments. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761911661
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 12/23/1998
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

PART ONE: BASIC CONCEPTS AND MANUAL
Basic Concepts
Does the Problem Really Exist?
Finding and Verifying Causes
Finding Solutions
Implementing Solutions and Making Them Operational
PART TWO: CASES
Getting Nursing Home Residents into Physical Therapy in a Timely Fashion
Patients Waiting for Radiation during Scheduled Visits
Late Notification of Critical Values by a Hospital Laboratory
Time Spent in Rehabilitation by Amputation Patients in a Municipal Hospital
Incomplete Laboratory Referrals in an HMO Center
HMO Patients' Problems with Crutches and Canes
Dealing with Hemolyzed Blood Samples in a Hospital Laboratory
Errors in Filling Prescriptions in a Hospital Pharmacy
A Labor-Management Health and Safety Committee
Nurse Attendance at Mandated Classes in an Outpatient Department
Compliance with Discussions and Documentation of Advance Directives in a Home Care Agency
Use of a Reminder Letter To Encourage Follow-Up Visits
Use of an Internal Audit in an Intermediate Care Facility
Use of Data on Unusual Occurrences in an Emergency Medical Service

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