It’s not enough to set a goal. If we want better outcomes that stick, we need to first understand how it’s produced today. We can do this by learning how underlying processes that drive our outcome are carried out. How do our prevention bundles get completed today? Are handoffs done reliably? Process measurements give us the specific, granular understanding to make meaningful changes that stick.
For a measurable goal of reducing the C. diff infection rate by 50% in 12 months, the key process might be some combination of contact precaution protocols and proper hand hygiene. These two processes specify the expected set of ordered steps to perform when delivering care in order to ensure safety is maintained. Correct hand hygiene technique prevents infections and properly carrying out the prescribed hand hygiene steps is an important factor that determines how many infections occur. In order to understand whether the proper process is adhered to it is important to observe the process in action and record whether the steps were completed correctly. Once multiple observations occur the aggregate data can show which items in the process are not occurring reliably and may even indicate specific hot spots to investigate (e.g. a specific unit has more trouble with one step than every other unit, or day shift is significantly different than the night shift).
Tip: There may be multiple processes that contribute to a measurable goal.
Having the ability to gather data on how a key process is performed gives us data for the next step.
How Qualaris supports this:
Use Audit to easily create and start collecting process data with Audit. Learn more about using Audit.
Use to Analyze and Improve’s Insights to view real-time data. Learn more about using Analyze. Learn more about using Improve’s Insight.
Ready to learn more?
We’ve added details on each step with examples and advice. Read the next article in the series or jump to any topic.
- How Qualaris approaches Improvement
- Set a measurable goal for an outcome you’d like to reliably produce
- Identify and measure key processes that drive your outcomes
- Gather opportunities for improvement from your team and your data
- Design and test changes to produce your outcome more reliably
- Apply and spread what works