How to Get Started in Quality Improvement

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BMJ has a new full-text article available, How to get started in quality improvement. If you’ve spent any time on this site you know I’m a big fan of any type of programming that affirmatively identifies issues and ideally, makes system-level changes to reduce or eliminate those issues (as opposed to catching the same problems over and over and correcting them once they’ve already been made on a case by case, clinician by clinician basis). It’s the difference between quality assurance (QA) programs and quality improvement (QI) ones. Jen Pierce-Weeks and I tackled that issue in the Sustainability app, here. Since launching the Sustainability app, OVC published the SANE Program Development and Operation Guide, and they addressed the issue of quality improvement, as well.

This BMJ piece is a good follow-on. It’s obviously not tailored to forensic clinical programs, but there’s no reason the information wouldn’t apply to a variety of programs, regardless of location or structure. And this provides much more instruction for taking the plunge into QI. Program managers, in particular, should consider spending some time with this article, especially as you consider the major challenges you may have in providing the best possible care to patients in your community.

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