A hospital-randomized controlled trial of an educational quality improvement intervention in rural and small community hospitals in Texas following implementation of information technology.
ABSTRACT Rural and small community hospitals typically have few resources and little experience with quality improvement (QI) and, on average, demonstrate poorer quality of care than larger facilities. Formalized QI education shows promise in improving quality, but little is known about its effect in rural and small community hospitals. The authors describe a randomized controlled trial assigning 47 rural and small community Texas hospitals to such a program (n = 23) or to the control group (n = 24), following provision of a Web-based quality benchmarking and case review tool. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Core Measures composite scores for congestive heart failure (CHF) and community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), using Texas Medical Foundation data collected via the QualityNet Exchange system, are compared for the groups, for 2 years postintervention. Given the estimated baseline rates for the CHF (68%) and CAP (66%) composites, the cohort enables the detection of 14% and 11% differences (alpha = .05; power = 0.8), respectively.
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ABSTRACT: Industrial quality improvement (QI) methods such as continuous quality improvement (CQI) may help bridge the gap between evidence-based "best care" and the quality of care provided. In 2006, Baylor Health Care System collaborated with Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University to conduct a QI demonstration project in select Pennsylvania hospitals using CQI techniques developed by Baylor. The training was provided over a 6-month period and focused on methods for rapid-cycle improvement; data system design; data management; tools to improve patient outcomes, processes of care, and cost-effectiveness; use of clinical guidelines and protocols; leadership skills; and customer service skills. Participants successfully implemented a variety of QI projects. QI education programs developed and pioneered within large health care systems can be adapted and applied successfully to other settings, providing needed tools to smaller rural and community hospitals that lack the necessary resources to establish such programs independently.American Journal of Medical Quality 07/2008; 23(4):252-8. DOI:10.1177/1062860608319814 · 1.78 Impact Factor