Even though quality cannot be defined, you know what quality is
Absence of Quality is the essence of squareness.
– Robert Pirsig
This morning, Health Affairs had a Briefing: Still Crossing the Quality Chasm. They also put up a blog post, Hospital Errors Ten Times More Common Than Thought?. It referred back to the Institute of Medicine’s landmark report, Crossing the Quality Chasm, which yesterday’s Conversations on Health Care guest, Dr. Lucian Leape helped write.
I must admit, when I think about health care quality, my first thoughts are about hospital errors, but there are many other aspects of quality that too often get overlooked. I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently as I’ve listened to internal discussions about improving quality at CHC.
We have several quality improvement groups at CHC and they are focusing on things I probably never would have thought of. Recently, I spoke with Dr. Daren Anderson, our Chief Quality Officer about some of these projects and hope to highlight key achievements of these teams on this blog.
One of the things that drew me to CHC was its commitment to training the next generation of health care workers. The Nurse Practitioner Residency Training Program especially caught my attention, but it turns out there are lots of different ways medical students can get valuable training at CHC.
Unfortunately, there was not standardized process to make this as efficient as possible. There was not a single point of contact for our training programs. There was not a standard way in which new students were brought on board, oriented, gotten ids and passwords.
So, a Quality Improvement project was set up to recommend how to make this process more efficient. The ‘onboarding’ process where students were oriented and received ids and access was streamlined so the students could start learning more quickly. Relationships with various schools have become more formalized so that we can bring in more students who will get more out of the programs. Exit interviews were set up so that we can continue to learn from our programs
Some of the students may go on to work in hospitals and perhaps decrease the number of errors there. However, we hope that many of the students will end up working in community health centers and primary care. By improving the quality of training that future primary care providers receive, hopefully more patients will get their health needs addressed early on and require fewer hospital visits.