Quality is a broad term that can mean different things in different contexts. The Quality improvement (QI) process is a systematic, formal approach to the analysis of performance and efforts to improve performance (Spath, 2018). The terms Quality Improvement, Performance Improvement and Continuous Improvement are often used interchangeably in healthcare. The goal of healthcare Quality Improvement is to improve processes that support patient care or improve patient outcomes. In this course, the Practice Experience Project and the Capstone Paper will focus on improving patient outcomes.
Data collection is the cornerstone of Quality Improvement. Collecting data identifies potential areas for improvement, and monitors the effectiveness of any changes. It is important to obtain baseline data before beginning a Quality Improvement project and to analyze results during and at the end of a project. Quality Improvement teams make decisions based on the analysis of the data.
A variety of approaches or Quality Improvement Models exist to collect, analyze data and test change. Some examples of quality improvement models are PDSA, PDCA, FOCUS PDCA, Lean, and Six Sigma. Each Quality Improvement model is discussed in detail in chapter five of the Spath (2018) course text.
Quality Improvement Tools are strategies that can help a quality improvement team understand, analyze, or communicate quality improvement efforts. Examples of Quality Improvement Tools include Run Charts, Pareto Charts, 5 why’s, Scatter and Fishbone Diagrams. Details and additional tools can be found in chapter six of the Spath (2018) text.
This week you explore definitions of quality and what it means in health care and in nursing. You consider the quality management activities of measurement, assessment, and improvement and how they are applied in your work setting or other practice setting. You also begin step one of your Capstone Paper—identifying a patient-centered practice problem in need of improvement that you have had experience with in your work or practice setting. You will develop this throughout the practice experience, and it will be the topic of the Capstone Paper. The practice problem identified in the practice experience discussion is the problem that will be presented in detail in the Capstone Paper and storyboard presentation.
Learning Objectives
Students will:
Develop a definition of quality
Apply definition of quality to work setting
Identify quality-improvement practice problems

Discussion Assignment
week1 Discussion: Defining Quality
As health care consumers, we all expect quality care and positive outcomes. It is important as professionals that we meet these demands of health care consumers. Consider the work of the major theorists you examined in this week’s Resources, and think about how these theories apply to your own experience as a health care customer and/or practitioner.
By Day 3
Post your definition of quality, and apply it to the work of one major quality theorist (e.g., Donabedian, Juran, Deming, Triple Aim (IHI) – Berwick). Identify a practice problem that you have had some experience with as a customer or as a practitioner, and explain how eliminating wasteful practices could have improved the experience. Include how your definition of quality applies to that experience.
Support your response with references from the professional nursing literature. Your posts need to be written at the capstone level (see checklist).
Notes Initial Post: This should be a 3-paragraph (at least 350 words) response. Be sure to use evidence from the readings and include in-text citations. Utilize essay-level writing practice and skills, including the use of transitional material and organizational frames. Avoid quotes; paraphrase to incorporate evidence into your own writing. A reference list is required. Use the most current evidence (usually ≤ 5 years old). (Refer to AWE Checklist, Capstone)

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