Performance Improvement with PDSA – Brandi Jones

by Brandi Jones

Performance improvement is the cornerstone of a comprehensive quality improvement (QI) program. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), QI is a continuous improvement process focused on processes and systems. QI is both proactive and preventative, focusing on patient care and data.

Performance improvement projects can arise from information gathered in a variety of ways including contractual measures with payers or the results of patient satisfaction and employee engagement surveys. Once you’ve identified the improvement opportunity, there are a variety of improvement methods to choose from. One of the most common methods, the PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) is a particularly adaptable choice.

PDSA’s are ideal for shorter measurement cycles, typically 3 months or less. One of the most important components of the planning stage is developing key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are a great tool for tracking how well your improvements were working which can give you a head start on making needed adjustments. Root-cause analysis is another important tool in the PDSA toolbox that can help you know if something in your improvement process is broken, and if so, where that breakdown is happening.

Developing useful KPIs and flexible responses to the pain points that KPIs surface requires a smart, savvy approach to data. Structured data is the best way to capture the results of your workflow – without that structured data, attempts at re-measurement of your workflow output can become muddy and unreliable.

Tune in next week for more from Brandi Jones, Senior Analyst, as she jumps into the world of structured data and patient experience.