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Qual Manag Health Care [journal]
- Timely response to secure messages from primary care patients. [Journal Article]
- Qual Manag Health Care 2013 Apr-Jun; 22(2):161-6.
To assess delays in response to patient secure e-mail messages in primary care.Secure electronic messages are initiated by primary care patients. Timely response is necessary for patient safety and quality.A database of secure messages.A random sample of 353 secure electronic messages initiated by primary care patients treated in 4 clinics.Message not opened after 12 hours or messages not responded to after 36 hours.A total of 8.5% of electronic messages were not opened within 12 hours, and 17.6% did not receive a response in 36 hours. Clinic location, being a clinic employee, and patient sex were not related to delays. Patients older than 50 years were more likely to receive a delayed response (25.7% delayed, P = .013). The risk of both kinds of delays was higher on weekends (P < .001 for both).The e-mail message system resulted in high rates of delayed response. Delays were concentrated on weekends (Friday-Sunday). Reducing delayed responses may require automatic rerouting of messages to message centers staffed 24-7 or other mechanisms to manage this after-hours work flow.
- Managers' views and experiences of a large-scale county council improvement program: limitations and opportunities. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Qual Manag Health Care 2013 Apr-Jun; 22(2):152-60.
The aim of this study was to explore and evaluate managers' views of a large-scale improvement program, including their experiences and opinions about improvement initiatives and drivers for change. The study is based on a survey used in 2 nationwide mappings of improvement initiatives and developmental trends in Swedish health care. The participants were all managers in a county council in Sweden. Data were analyzed descriptively, and statements were ranked in order of preferences. A majority of the respondents stated that they had worked with improvements since the county council improvement program started. The managers sometimes found it difficult to find data and measurements that supported the improvements, yet a majority considered that it was worth the effort and that the improvement work yielded results. The top-ranked driving forces were ideas from personnel and problems in the daily work. Staff satisfaction was ranked highest of the improvement potentials, but issues about patients' experiences of their care and patient safety came second and third. The managers stated that no or only a few patients had been involved in their improvement initiatives. Large-scale county council improvement initiatives can illuminate quality problems and lead to increased interest in improvement initiatives in the health care sector.
- The utilization of standardized order sets using AASLD guidelines for patients with suspected cirrhosis and acute gastrointestinal bleeding. [Journal Article]
- Qual Manag Health Care 2013 Apr-Jun; 22(2):146-51.
To improve the adherence to AASLD (American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases) guidelines for variceal bleeding, we developed and implemented standardized order sets for gastrointestinal bleeding in our hospital on October 1, 2009. We performed medical record reviews of hospitalized patients with gastrointestinal bleeding with suspected cirrhosis from October 2009 to October 2010 to determine the use of octreotide, prophylactic antibiotics, and endoscopy. We reviewed 300 Medical records and identified 26 patients with suspected cirrhosis and gastrointestinal bleeding who had adequate information to determine whether or not the order set was used. Antibiotic was used in 76% of patients, octreotide was used in 76% of patients, and upper endoscopy was completed in 94% of patients within 24 hours. The use of antibiotics was higher than that used in historical controls in our hospital. Implementation of standardized order sets appears to have improved adherence to standard recommendations. However, larger studies with longer follow-ups are needed to evaluate this effect on clinical outcomes and cost of care.
- Integrating patient- and family-centered care with health policy: four proposed policy approaches. [Journal Article]
- Qual Manag Health Care 2013 Apr-Jun; 22(2):137-45.
Achieving patient-centeredness in health care delivery has been difficult, in large part due to the lack of a replicable methodology. We describe the Patient- and Family-Centered Care Methodology and Practice (PFCC M/P), designed specifically for health care, to establish and sustain patient-centeredness in any care setting. The PFCC M/P meets the needs of all stakeholders--patients, families, providers, payers, and government--in improving the patient experience, patient safety, and clinical outcomes while decreasing waste and cost. We also propose options for aligning the PFCC M/P with policy as a means of bringing about widespread transformation in health care delivery.
- One lens missing? Clarifying the clinical microsystem framework with learning theories. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Qual Manag Health Care 2013 Apr-Jun; 22(2):126-36.
The clinical microsystem (CMS) approach is widely used and is perceived as helpful in practice but, we ask the question: "Is its learning potential sufficiently utilized?"To scrutinize aspects of learning within the CMS framework and to clarify the learning aspects the framework includes and thereby support the framework with the enhanced learning perspective that becomes visible.Literature on the CMS framework was systematically searched and selected using inclusion criteria. An analytical tool was constructed in the form of a theoretical lens that was used to clarify learning aspects that are associated with the framework.The analysis revealed 3 learning aspects: (1) The CMS framework describes individual and social learning but not how to adapt learning strategies for purposes of change. (2) The metaphorical language of how to reach a holistic health care system for each patient has developed over time but can still be improved by naming social interactions to transcend organizational boundaries. (3) Power structures are recognized but not as a characteristic that restricts learning due to asymmetric communication.The "lens" perspective reveals new meanings to learning that enhance our understanding of health care as a social system and provides new practical learning strategies.
- Awareness of evidence-based practices alone does not translate to implementation: insights from implementation research. [Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.]
- Qual Manag Health Care 2013 Apr-Jun; 22(2):117-25.
This article offers a scholarly review and perspective on the potential of "implementation research" to generate incremental, context-sensitive, evidence-based management strategies for the successful implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) (such as the "central line bundle"). Many hospitals have difficulty consistently implementing EBPs at the unit level. This problem has been broadly characterized as "change implementation failure" in health care organizations. The popular hospital response to this challenge has been to raise clinician awareness of EBPs through mandated educational programs. However, this approach has not always succeeded in changing practice. The health services research literature has emphasized the role of several organizational variables (eg, leadership, safety culture, organizational learning, teamwork and communication, and physician/staff engagement) in successful change implementation. Correspondingly, this literature has developed broad frameworks and programs for change in health care organizations. While these broad change frameworks have been successfully applied by some facilities to change practice, they are not incrementally actionable. As such, several facilities have not leveraged broad change frameworks because of resource and/or contextual limitations; a majority of hospitals continue to resort to mandated clinician education (awareness-building) for change implementation. The recent impetus toward "implementation research" in health care has the potential to generate incremental, context-sensitive, evidence-based management strategies for practice change. Authors discuss specific insights from a recently completed study on central line bundle implementation in 2 intensive care units in an academic health center. The study demonstrates that awareness of EBPs alone does not translate to implementation. More importantly, the study also identifies incremental, context-sensitive, evidence-based management strategies for successful implementation of EBPs at the unit level.
- Development and validation of a cystic fibrosis patient and family member experience of care survey. [Journal Article]
- Qual Manag Health Care 2013 Apr-Jun; 22(2):100-16.
The purpose of this study was to develop a cystic fibrosis (CF)-specific patient and family experience of care survey that CF care centers could use to inform quality improvement efforts.A literature search and query of CF care centers was conducted to identify existing surveys. Individuals with CF, their families, and health care professionals were also asked what to include. Following this process, a draft survey was developed and then reviewed by focus groups. Finally, a version was piloted at 25 CF care centers to validate and further refine the instrument.No CF-specific surveys were found in the literature. Focus group participants stated that they understood the survey questions and that they covered important aspects of care, particularly infection control. The pilot test of the instrument with 485 participants supported its validity by demonstrating significant differences across centers and that most of the 3 care dimensions had acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach α: adults, 0.71-0.85; children, 0.68-0.79).A CF-specific patient and family experience of care survey was developed with input from individuals with CF, their families, and health care professionals. The instrument was validated and has been deployed to CF care centers.
- Organizational coherence in health care organizations: conceptual guidance to facilitate quality improvement and organizational change. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Qual Manag Health Care 2013 Apr-Jun; 22(2):86-99.
We sought to improve our understanding of how health care quality improvement (QI) methods and innovations could be efficiently and effectively translated between settings to reduce persistent gaps in health care quality both within and across countries. We aimed to examine whether we could identify a core set of organizational cultural attributes, independent of context and setting, which might be associated with success in implementing and sustaining QI systems in health care organizations.We convened an international group of investigators to explore the issues of organizational culture and QI in different health care contexts and settings. This group met in person 3 times and held a series of conference calls to discuss emerging ideas over 2 years. Investigators also conducted pilot studies in their home countries to examine the applicability of our conceptual model.We suggest that organizational coherence may be a critical element of QI efforts in health care organizations and propose that there are 3 key components of organizational coherence: (1) people, (2) processes, and (3) perspectives. Our work suggests that the concept of organizational coherence embraces both culture and context and can thus help guide both researchers and practitioners in efforts to enhance health care QI efforts, regardless of organizational type, location, or context.
- From the editor. [Editorial, Introductory Journal Article]
- Qual Manag Health Care 2013 Apr-Jun; 22(2):85.
- Diabetes specialty clinic: an intervention to improve care for veterans. [Journal Article]
- Qual Manag Health Care 2013 Jan-Mar; 22(1):66-82.
People with diabetes who have chronically higher than normal blood glucose levels are at risk for a variety of health conditions, such as kidney failure, blindness, amputation, and a shortened life expectancy. At a Veterans Health Administration Medical Center (White River Junction, Vermont), a team of providers, diabetes educators, and psychologist noticed that patient education and therapy sessions were not effective for some patients and in addition the center had above the benchmark percentage of veterans who had higher than normal blood glucose levels. The team thought a new approach might work better and through feedback from staff and primary care providers developed the Diabetes Specialty Clinic (DSC). Our working theory was that veterans would make changes in diabetes self-management and improve their levels of blood glucose by sharing their experiences with other veterans in a supportive environment.Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to evaluate whether the DSC had a positive impact with the veterans. Hemoglobin A1c was obtained at the first group meeting and at 6 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year, along with 5 patient-reported outcomes obtained using 4 questionnaires.Thirty-nine veterans participated in the DSC. For the veterans who participated in the DSC for more than a year, 42% of the measures showed improvement, and they shared positive feedback on how the DSC influenced their behaviors by helping them engage in self-care activities.The DSC seemed to be effective in creating a space for establishing relationships, resolving issues, and understanding the management of diabetes for veterans and health care professionals.