There are an infinite number of possible quality improvement initiatives in any health services organization. However, time and resources are finite and may limit the extent to which quality improvement initiatives may be implemented. How does a health care administration leader evaluate which quality improvement initiatives should be implemented?
Reflect on the approaches health care administration leaders may use to determine which quality improvement initiatives should receive resources for implementation. Then, evaluate how your health services organization or one with which you are familiar determines which initiatives to execute.
Give a description of an approach for evaluating, prioritizing, and resourcing quality improvement initiatives. Then, explain how your health services organization, or one with which you are familiar, decides which quality improvement initiatives are resourced and implemented. Be specific and provide examples.
Ross, T. K. (2014). Health care quality management: Tools and applications. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Chapter 3, “Regulating the Quality and Quantity of Health Care” (pp. 63–110)
Expert Solution Preview
Evaluating and implementing quality improvement initiatives in a health services organization is crucial for providing efficient and effective healthcare. However, health care administration leaders face challenges in deciding which quality improvement initiatives to prioritize due to the finite availability of resources. This requires a systematic approach for evaluating, prioritizing, and resourcing the initiatives.
The health care administration leader may use various approaches to determine which quality improvement initiatives should receive resources for implementation. One approach is to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of the organization. The SWOT analysis provides a comprehensive evaluation of the organization’s internal and external environments. The leader can identify initiatives that align with the organization’s strengths and opportunities and address weaknesses and threats.
Another approach is to prioritize quality improvement initiatives based on their potential impact on patient outcomes, cost-effectiveness, and feasibility of implementation. The leader may use evidence-based data to identify initiatives that have the highest potential to improve quality and safety while balancing costs and resources.
In my health services organization, we follow a systematic approach for evaluating, prioritizing, and resourcing quality improvement initiatives. We have a quality improvement committee that is responsible for identifying, assessing, and prioritizing initiatives. The committee comprises representatives from clinical and administrative departments, and they meet regularly to review progress, status, and results of initiatives.
Our approach includes the following steps:
1. Define the problem and set the goals: We begin by identifying the problem that needs improvement and establish measurable goals for the initiative.
2. Conduct a needs assessment: We gather data and information from various sources, including patients, staff, and other stakeholders, to assess the current state of the problem and identify root causes.
3. Prioritize the initiative: We use a prioritization matrix that considers the potential impact on patient outcomes, costs, resources, and feasibility of implementation. Initiatives with the highest scores are given priority.
4. Develop an action plan: We develop a detailed action plan that outlines the steps needed to implement the initiative, timelines, roles, and responsibilities.
5. Implement the plan: The initiative is implemented according to the action plan, which includes monitoring and evaluation of progress.
6. Evaluate the results: We evaluate the results of the initiative by reviewing data and metrics and measuring progress against the established goals.
In conclusion, health care administration leaders must use a systematic approach for evaluating, prioritizing, and resourcing quality improvement initiatives. The SWOT analysis and prioritization matrix are two approaches that can assist in identifying the initiatives that have the highest potential for improving patient outcomes and safety while balancing costs and resources. Our health services organization follows a similar approach, which involves a quality improvement committee responsible for identifying and prioritizing initiatives and developing a detailed action plan for implementation and evaluation.