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NURS 6231 Week 6: The Quality Movement

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NURS 6231 Week 6: The Quality Movement essay assignment

NURS 6231: Healthcare Systems and Quality Outcomes | Week 6 essay assignment

Quality is a multifaceted concept that often means differing things to diverse stakeholders. Think about what quality entails for a range of products (e.g., food, television sets, cars) and processes (e.g., the construction of airplanes, how customer service calls are handled for a utilities company).

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In health care, as in other industries, quality can be defined and measured in varying ways. Yet, agencies and organizations have come together in recent years to try to promote shared, achievable goals for quality. This week, you examine the standards proposed by leading agencies concerned with health care quality and safety, and consider how quality is or could be defined and measured in specific organizations.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze methods for measuring quality
  • Apply appropriate measures to a quality improvement initiative*
  • Evaluate approaches for collecting and evaluating data for quality improvement initiatives*

*These Learning Objectives will be assessed in Week 8.

Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.

—John Ruskin

Quality is multidimensional and involves the perspectives of various stakeholders, including patients and families. As noted in this week’s Learning Resources, defining quality is not a simple, straightforward task. Yet, it provides an essential foundation for being able to measure and assess quality, and, ultimately, to improve it.

In this Discussion, you consider definitions and measurements of quality. As you proceed, think about why it is important for organizations to be able to quantify quality and compare current performance to previous performance, to a set of standards, and/or to performance in other organizations.

To prepare:

  • Review the information in the Learning Resources, especially the chapters in the Sadeghi, Brazi, Mikhail, and Shabot course text, focusing on how quality is or could be defined and measured.
  • Think about a health care organization with which you are familiar. It may be the same organization you are focusing on for your Course Project, or a different one. How do you think various stakeholders in this organization would define quality? How would you define quality as it relates to this organization?
  • Review the information on quality standards and / or aims in the Learning Resources, and consider the following:
    • Which outcomes related to quality are currently being monitored in the organization that you have selected?
    • How is related data collected and evaluated?
    • Does the organization use health information technology in this regard? If so, how?
    • How is quality-related information (e.g., data, needs for improvement) communicated throughout the organization?
    • What do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of the current approach to quality in this organization?

By Day 3

Post a definition of quality for your selected organization. Describe at least one quality-related measure that is currently being monitored within the organization. Summarize the data collection process for this measure, and explain how this information is communicated to or among the staff. Identify at least one strength and one weakness related to how quality is defined, measured, and/or monitored within the organization.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Compare the organizations’ definitions of quality.
  • Share an insight about how your colleague’s data and information could be used to formulate a quality initiative.
  • Suggest additional options for tracking data.
  • Provide an additional resource to assist a colleague with his or her plan for keeping staff informed and engaged.

Project: Promoting Health Care Quality essay assignment

Section 3: Quality Measurement and Assessment

Measuring and assessing quality provides a foundation for identifying needs for improvement, developing effective interventions, and then monitoring progress toward desired results.

In the Sadeghi, Barzi, Mikhail, and Shabot text, the authors assert that an effort to improve quality “calls for setting outcome and performance targets (goals and expectations) beginning with the end in mind, and then formulating initiatives and actions (processes) that can serve as a bridge to take the organization from its current performance to its desired performance” (p. 182).

Having this “end in mind” can provide justification for dedicating valuable resources toward the effort, and help to lay a clear, concrete path that takes the organization from uncovering gaps between current performance and evidence-based targets to actually achieving those goals.

In this section of the Course Project, you focus on what you would measure—and how you would measure it—relative to your previously identified quality improvement issue. Note: This section of the Course Project will serve as the Portfolio Assignment for this course.

To prepare:

  • Review the Learning Resources. Also conduct a search of the literature related to your selected quality improvement issue and complete the Evidence Matrix (provided in this week’s Learning Resources).
  • Evaluate the evidence presented in the research literature and the quality standards proposed by various organizations, including the IOM’s six aims for quality improvement.
  • Based on this review and your knowledge of the organization that you have selected, determine appropriate measures and indicators of performance related to your identified quality improvement issue.
  • Consider how you could gather and use historical evidence of the organization’s performance related to the quality improvement issue. Also consider methods for gathering and assessing current quantitative and qualitative data, including those currently in use by the organization (e.g., chart audit data, staff surveys, quality indicators that are monitored, observations). If possible, examine actual data to assess your selected organization’s performance related to the issue.
  • Think about what, specifically, you would like to achieve related to this issue. Establish realistic, evidence-based quality performance targets.
  • Analyze gap(s) between the organization’s current performance and the performance targets.
  • As you do this, you may wish to create a graphic organizer/alignment chart for your own use that illustrates:
    • The measures and indicators that you would evaluate
    • Current and historical data related to this quality issue—either actual data or methods for how you would collect and analyze the data
    • Methods for collecting and analyzing data in the future (including when you would do this)
    • Realistic, evidence-based targets

Additional instructions for Section 3 are presented in Week 7. To complete this Assignment, you will write a paper introducing your quality improvement plan. This Assignment is due by Day 7 of Week 8.

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