The quality of health care provided at Academic Medical centre is influenced by several factors. Their major goal being to provide high quality services, the centre ensures well organized services, a team of dedicated qualified leaders and enough infrastructures. In addition, the Academic Medical Centre has put in place adequate medical personnel to ensure high and quality performance. Moreover, the organization undergoes quality improvement reqularly in order to maintain and improve their services. This is done by quality management team which is composed by well trained staff. Quality Improvement (QI) in this case refers to upgrading of service systems using the day to day health and program data in order to achieve the organization’s requirements such as patient needs (Donald and Douglas, 2000).
Areas of Potential Improvement
There are several areas in Academic Medical centre that ought to be improved in terms of quality. However, the key potential areas of improvement are identified using decision matrix tool. It helps categorize choices indicating the most important ones.
One area of priority is emergency department. Many people have suffered a lot and at times lost lives while waiting for urgent treatment at the Academic Medical Centre. The staffs in this case are said not to attend to the patient who need their immediate attention.
Documentation department especially that dealing with infants needs to be improved. Proper records are not kept as per the services offered. For example documents of infants who have been immunized seem to decline over the years. This area thus need quality improvement so as to ensure efficient documentation of the treatment offered.
Pharmacy department also requires quality improvement. In some occasion, the department has failed to meet the high demands of drugs in the hospital. Sometimes patients are forced to take substitutes due to lack of specific prescribed drugs. For the hospital to continue offering the high quality services, the quality team should address issues in this department.
Data Needed To Monitor Improvement
The Academic Medical Centre uses data to monitor improvement. This data is found from patients, the staff or the community. It monitors improvement by gauging the levels of positive or negative responses.
Data Collection Tools Used To Collect Performance Information
Written records are used as a tool of data collection. This may include charts, health card or passport, registers and logs. This method can be used to collect a wide variety of data depending on the target area of improvement. For example, if the data is needed to improve services to the patients then charts and health cards are applicable. Logs for example can be used to identify appointment of the patients and their turn up for the same.
Pharmacy register can be used to provide information about stock and the prescriptions preferred. It is important to note that some of these records are hard too access. For instance some registers and logs are found in health offices at district and national levels. It is thus a virtue to keep the information as confidential as possible. This method of data collection is advantageous in that it is used to identify the needs such as those of the patients and thus measures of improving are taken.
Information data can also be obtained from the staff. This tool of data collection requires one to understand the position of the staff so as obtain accurate information. A medical officer for example in charge of the Academic Medical Centre would be the appropriate person to get information from. In addition, one can enquire from managerial staff of the areas that need to be improved. For example the staff in charge of emergency department may provide the challenges they face in that department and give recommendations on how to improve the situation. The strong point of this method of data collection is that the information is accurate and also it improves staff performance because the staff feels that they are involved in quality improvement.
The patients and the community can also be tools of data collection. They can be asked to give information data that can be used to measure and improve quality. For example the patients can be asked about their needs that they feel should be improved. This tool of data collection may entail questionnaires that people can fill as well as discussion groups in which people air out their issues. In addition, formal interviews may be incorporated as well as suggestion box (Nelson, 1999).
Tools Used To Measure and Display QI Data
Quality improvement can be measured and be displayed using various tools. These tools assist in the process of improving the quality. The collected QI data may not give a detailed explanation about the low performance and these tools come in handy to explain the gaps. They also show measures to be taken in order to realize maximum improvements. Flowchart and fishbone are examples of such tools. Both are similar because they are used to measure and display QI data but differs in the manner they do it
The flowchart visualizes the process of quality improvement. The tool is effective because it enhances understanding. It can be used to demonstrate processes that develop in sequence form. It is important to note that the flowchart is applicable at the initial stages of the process because it gives the current situation. However it can also be used at the end of the process to depict various improvements. Its other strengths are that it can be used as a training tool to other staff and that it shows weaknesses in the organization and how they can be addressed.
QI data can also be examined using a fishbone or cause and effect diagram. It is a graphic illustration that shows the result and their influences. It is used to categorize factors in a process of quality improvement. This enables the quality team to handle those areas that can be improved within while postponing those that may require external intervention. For example at Academic Medical Centre documentation of record in the infants department can be addressed immediately by staff from within while stock outs in the pharmacy may wait for other organizations to supply the drugs.
It is advantageous in that it helps establish the problem and its possible causes; it ensures that the process is handled by a group hence widening the knowledge. The tool also shows where the data is not sufficient hence calling for additional one. Finally, it is visualizes the cause- effect relationship (Hess, 1999).
Academic Medical Centre uses quality improvement plan as a way of achieving their goals as an institution. The process is thus a long term investment that aims at maintaining and improving their services. QI ought to be carried out regularly on various departments so as to realize the organizational goal. Academic Medical Centre has set aside a quality team that is in charge of maintaining their standards.
Donald, E. & Douglas, C. (2000). Principles and methods of quality management in health care. Aspen publishers: Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Hess, A. et al. (1999). Building and Idealized Measurement System to Improvement Clinical Office Practice Performance. Managed Care Quarterly, 7(3): 26-38.
Nelson, E. et al. (1999).Building Measurement and Data Collection into Medical Practice. Annals of Internal Medicine, 128: 460-466.