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Healthcare Quality Improvement Example

This healthcare quality improvement example shows how a healthcare organization can visualize progress in its quality improvement efforts.

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Healthcare quality improvement programs improve outcomes for patients, increase healthcare staff’s efficiency, and minimize waste due to process failures. These quality improvement programs are typically aimed at improving metrics related to four objectives: safety, effectiveness, access, and patient-centeredness.

In this healthcare quality improvement example from ClearPoint, a gauge dashboard shows the current status of each objective–whether the hospital is on track, in the cautionary range, or below plan in accomplishing these goals. The heat map included in the dashboard offers more details for these objectives by showing the measures linked to each objective as well as qualitative analysis that offers more context on what’s going well or falling behind.

High-performing healthcare quality improvement programs are well-integrated with a healthcare organization’s strategic plan and vision. By setting targets aimed at making improvements in the four categories of safety, effectiveness, access, and patient-centeredness and reviewing progress annually, healthcare organizations can make significant strides forward in improving their operations and the outcomes they deliver to patients.

Gauge Charts

 

Gauge charts are a great way to evaluate performance in a single period rather than over time. The lowest part of the gauge is designated with a red color, signifying it is below target. If the hospital’s performance rating falls within the red area, viewers  know it is below target. If it falls within the yellow or green, viewers know the safety rating is almost on target or on/above target, respectively. Gauge charts allow viewers to quickly and easily see how metrics are performing.

Key Elements for Healthcare Quality Improvement Examples

  • A visual update on the past year’s progress
    • Visual updates are a great way to view your organization’s data in an easy to understand format. They enable healthcare organizations to review their progress and make future decisions regarding objectives and initiatives. For example, using graphs and charts enables your staff to identify important metrics while not having to read through a lengthy report. Some examples of charts that organizations use to track prior year data include line, bar, gauge, pie, scatter plot, etc. There is truly an endless amount of ways for your organization to display data!
  • Goals set for the coming year in four categories:
    • Safety
      • It is crucial for healthcare organizations to prioritize the safety of their patients to build credibility within their community and ensure patients are being restored to better health. Goals associated with the safety category may include reducing infection and mortality rates within their facility as well as fostering safe use of medication. Keeping these goals top of mind helps organizations ensure they are providing patients with safe treatment and building trust within their community.
    • Effectiveness
      • By tracking treatment effectiveness, healthcare organizations are ensuring they are building healthy communities. Goals in the effectiveness category often include reducing readmission rates as well as improving information communication to the patient during discharge. Tracking these goals help healthcare organizations strengthen their communities and improve their quality of care.
    • Access
      • Healthcare organizations need to continually improve their accessibility to a broader patient base. By doing this, organizations can serve and help a larger portion of the community. This helps to foster a healthier overall community and inclusivity among residents.
    • Patient-centeredness
      • Healthcare organizations need to constantly put the patient first to improve their ratings and make sure patients are front and center in all of their processes. Some important goals that may fall under the patient-centeredness category are receiving stronger patient reviews and improving responsiveness to patient inquiries. A patient-centered healthcare organization provides a more personal and pleasant process for its patients, and ultimately, this will be better for both the organization and the patient.

Intended Audience

This dashboard is intended to be viewed by leaders of a healthcare organization. Leaders can utilize this dashboard to ensure the quality of their hospital is continuing to improve over the course of a year.