Quality Improvement

Quality improvement involves the systematic and continuous analysis of performance with the goal of accomplishing measurable improvement in services and outcomes. The most effective and successful organizations consistently review their services, processes and outcomes to identify areas for potential improvement. This quality improvement collection will assist you to access resources to enhance performance in a number of areas related to health care, including clinical, leadership and operational growth.

Methodologies and Models

This document outlines four performance management tools: Balanced Scorecard, Baldrige, Lean, and Studer. These tools have been identified by the National Rural Health Resource Center as effective methods for managing performance improvement in small rural hospitals. Each management tool can be used independently or in combination to fit the unique challenges and culture of rural health organizations.

Four Performance Management Tools (276.61 KB)

This rural project summary describes Project ECHO (Extension for the Community Healthcare Outcomes), which was created to increase the capacity for better chronic condition management in rural New Mexico. The ECHO model is designed to extend specialty care to rural patients through area providers. 

Through a specially-designed project, remote primary care providers work with academic specialists as a team to manage chronic conditions of rural patients, expanding remote providers’ knowledge base through shared case studies.

Patient management and care provided by rural providers through ongoing education and mentoring from Project ECHO has proved as effective as treatment provided by specialists at a university medical center.

Project ECHO – Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes

Patient Safety

This toolkit presents an interdisciplinary quality improvement initiative designed to assist nursing facilities in providing individualized, person-centered care and improving their fall care processes and outcomes through educational and quality improvement tools.

The Falls Management Program: A Quality Improvement Initiative for Nursing Facilities

TeamSTEPPS is an evidence-based program aimed at optimizing performance among teams of health care professionals, enabling them to respond quickly and effectively to whatever situations arise. This curriculum was developed by a panel of experts, incorporating more than 25 years of scientific research that has been conducted on teams and team performance. The following are among the several versions of TeamSTEPPS available on the TeamSTEPPS website.

  • TeamSTEPPS 2.0 (core curriculum): A teamwork system that offers a powerful solution to improving collaboration and communication within your institution. Teamwork has been found to be one of the key initiatives within patient safety that can transform the culture within health care. Patient safety experts agree that communication and other teamwork skills are essential to the delivery of quality health care and to preventing and mitigating medical errors and patient injury and harm.
  • TeamSTEPPS Office-based Care Version: Adapts the core concepts of the TeamSTEPPS program to reflect the environment of office-based teams. The examples, discussions, and exercises are tailored to the medical office environment. It is a full version of TeamSTEPPS, including all of the fundamentals modules as well as modules to assist in implementation.
  • TeamSTEPPS Rapid Response Systems Guide: Includes presentations, instructional guides, case studies and videos. This evidence-based module will provide insight into the core concepts of teamwork as they are applied to the rapid response system.
  • TeamSTEPPS Long-Term Care Version: Adapts the core concepts of the TeamSTEPPS program to reflect the environment of nursing homes and other long-term care settings such as assisted living and continuing care retirement communities. Keys to success at each phase include involvement of the right people, use of information-driven decision making, and careful planning before acting. 
  • TeamSTEPPS for Patients With Limited English Proficiency: This evidence-based module will provide insight into the core concepts of teamwork as they are applied to work with patients who have difficulty communicating in English.

TeamSTEPPS: Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety

 Lean Sigma Health Care

A New Model for Community Health Center (CHC) and Small Hospital Quality and Performance Transformation. This webinar will detail the thinking and tools within the Lean Sigma Health Care methodology that underlie its highly effective approach to driving meaningful and lasting organizational change. This session will present both clinic leadership and staff with ideas to immediately enhance their leadership effectiveness and ability to carry out their day-to-day functions. Most current approaches to rolling out Lean Six Sigma are tailored to large institutions and this presentation will detail a plan for small and rural hospitals that have proven both highly effective and revenue positive in a short time.

Lean Sigma Healthcare -- A New Model for CAH and Small Hospital Transformation.pdf (2.84 MB)


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