- Explore methods of continuous quality improvement processes
- Differentiate between process and outcome evaluation methods
As practicing nurses, you are likely accustomed to applying quality improvement processes within your workplace with individual patients or clients. Depending upon your work setting, you may be using these method for groups or populations. The idea of applying these methods is part of the nursing process. As a nurse leader, it is essential to think about outcomes in a tangible manner.
Outcomes are driven by a wide array of stakeholders from national or regional requirements to the individual stakeholders that are direct recipients of your services. Whatever the reason for collecting data, it is important to use that data to improve outcomes. In healthcare settings, often one method of of outcome data is insufficient, multiple outcome methods are used to measure improvement (Verhagen et al., 2022).
In this chapter, you will be exploring the quality improvement process. One of the most, if not the most, important aspect of leading a quality improvement project is selecting appropriate outcome measures. Outcome measures are used to inform stakeholders of the project progression. If your project successfully achieves optimal outcomes, you will be able to expand the project and likely acquire additional resources. If, however, you achieve suboptimal outcomes, there will be minimal motivation from stakeholders to provide further support. The need to measure your progress during the process is essential and not limit your measurement to the end, as it will be too late to make adjustments to your plan.