In-depth series – Quality Improvement

| March 28, 2017 | Print Article

Throughout the year we will explore quality improvement as our in-depth topic.  Join us on a mini-tour of tools, resources and ways to incorporate quality improvement models in everyday GME.  Our second installment, of six, is to learn the three main measures used in quality improvement.

  1. Structure – the physical piece. This includes facilities and equipment.
  2. Process– how things work. This includes the system or protocols that are used.
  3. Outcome– results. This includes the final product.

Let’s look at an example:  Residents noticed that colorectal surgery patients had an above average surgical site infection rate.

Structure – Is the infection rate related to a specific surgeon?  A specific operating room?  From use of specific piece of equipment?  From specific patients?

Process – What is the process pre-surgery?  What is the process during surgery?  What is the process post-surgery? What percent of patients are given antibiotics pre and post-surgery? How often are gloves and gowns changed?

Outcome – Surgical site infections for colorectal surgery patients decreased by 50%.

For further information on quality measures visit the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.