Quality and Performance Improvement Analysis Paper (Bench Mark)
Quality and Performance Improvement
Quality improvement includes systematic actions taken by healthcare specialists leading to measurable improvements in services and the health of the population. Quality points to the direct relationship between the desired outcomes of patients and the level of improved services in facilities. It is linked to the services delivery approach of a particular organization and its underlying system of care. The paper seeks to explore quality and performance improvement as well as underscore that in order for a healthcare organization to reach successful results, demonstrate a high level of performance, and improve quality of the current system of any healthcare facility, which requires radical changes.
While quality improvement programs are essentially different, successful strategies always incorporate the same main principles. The latter include quality improvement in the whole system and performance processes. Moreover, a significant emphasis is placed on patients, data, and employees being an integral part of the team. Blazey (2009) emphasizes that organizations should comprehend its service delivery system and crucial processes in order to make improvement possible. The concept behind the quality improvement approach in the fields indicated above recognizes that both inputs and carried out activities should be addressed properly to improve the quality of care in case if it is needed. A healthcare delivery system can be simple like in immunization clinics or complex like in large care facilities. Quality improvement assumes various forms. It is the most successful if it is individualized to satisfy the demands of a particular organizations healthcare provision system and ensure the best outputs.
Block (2006) identifies six objectives for quality improvement in healthcare. Safety means avoiding serious injuries to any patient receiving care. Effectiveness implies providing services with focus on using scientific knowledge by specialists to cure people. Patient-centeredness means providing care that responds to patients needs and ensuring that values of every client guide the main decisions. Timeliness implies decreasing waits and delays for clients, who receive care and healthcare specialists who provide it. Efficiency means avoiding waste of energy, ideas, supplies, and tools. Equity implies providing care that will not differ in quality because of such characteristics as status, ethnicity, gender, and location of patients. Healthcare facilities should constantly pursue performance and quality improvement initiatives to reach a successful clinical performance outcome and patient experience, and diminish organizational costs. If these efforts are not taken properly, a black hole appears that will just waste time, money, and resources bringing about no real and sustainable advancements.
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Enos (2010) mentions that the main reason why efforts fail to produce a desired outcome is that every organization mistakenly thinks of performance improvement as a series of one-off processes, each of which has its own beginning, middle, and end. In order to be sustainable and effective, quality and performance improvement initiatives of any healthcare facility should be conceived in the context of the current performance program. The initial objective of this program is to prioritize efforts so that organizations can succeed and build a momentum for performance improvement in the near future.
The Joint Commission (2012) has been elaborating numerous steps for the implementation of various performance improvement programs that are based on the interaction of various components in the form of an adaptive and complex healthcare system. According to the Joint Commission (2012), it is important to integrate performance improvement into the strategic objectives of the healthcare organization. Strategic goals such as becoming a responsible care facility, focusing on health management of different communities, and reaching excellence require performance improvement in order to succeed. The integration of performance improvement helps avoid wasted time, efforts, and money on those programs that may bring about minor benefits.
Performance improvement requires the adoption of an analytical system that combines the organizations data and enables their effective sharing. It allows every interdisciplinary team to analyze the data and reveal patterns that can lead to new ideas. Healthcare systems and hospitals will significantly improve care if they identify and adopt a performance improvement program and realize the evidence-based practice following the main standards. In order to improve the overall effectiveness of organizations activities, specialists should launch a quality improvement program pursuant to all necessary guidelines (Unutzer, Chan, Hafer, Knaster, Shields, Powers, & Veith, 2012).
Prioritizing programs is based on applying the combination of the deployment system and analytics. McGinnis, Saunders, and Olsen (2011) mention that in order to reach success and improved clinical outcomes, a healthcare facility should streamline its operations and demonstrate a strong organizational commitment to workflow processes, culture, organizational structure, and personnel education. Therefore, organizations that begin to improve performance should first of all assess their readiness for radical changes. Examples of criteria that are used to access the healthcare facilitys readiness include administrative maintenance, availability of data, clinical leadership readiness, and a shared vision. A readiness assessment will help any organization to determine whether a team can accept changes and to estimate the potential impact on the personnel and frontline caregivers. The comprehension of strategic aims and the integration of outcomes based on analytics and readiness assessment can help facilities prioritize which clinical services should be improved first.
It is necessary for the healthcare organization to establish permanent teams, which will deal with performance improvement. They should analyze and review data, define the best and evidence-based practice, as well as to observe and monitor the outcomes. It is important to create an improvement team that will follow an internal structure of the healthcare facility. Their main roles are to remove barriers, prioritize work, select aims, allocate resources, and define workgroup outcomes. Physicians, nurses, and frontline personnel should lead clinical improvement teams and implement the process improvement. These specialists understand each process and are aimed at improvement.
In conclusion, providing a basis for sustained improvement and emphasizing initiatives should not be overwhelming. By following important steps and creating a framework for performance and quality improvement based on well-organized teams, analytics, and an evidence-based practice, a healthcare organization can obtain necessary tools to achieve and sustain improvement. An effective approach is to identify a practice that will consistently lead to the best outputs and ensure their promotion owing to comprehensive evidence-based guidelines.