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.
- Structure – the physical piece. This includes facilities and equipment.
- Process– how things work. This includes the system or protocols that are used.
- 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.