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Contribution of locally and externally designed quality management activities to hospitals' efforts to improve patient care



Contribution of locally and externally designed quality management activities to hospitals' efforts to improve patient care



Western Journal of Medicine 166(2): 110-117



We examined the effects of quality management activities on efforts by hospitals to improve patient care. Our primary objective was to assess the relative contribution to these efforts of quality management activities designed by facility staff and those designed by external organizations. We asked chiefs of medicine, surgery, psychiatry, and ambulatory care at 47 randomly selected Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals to identify the 3 actions taken by their departments during the previous year that most improved patient care. The sources of information contributing to each action were subsequently identified through 2 independent procedures: a review of hospital documents and attributions by the department chiefs. Quality management activities contributed to 31% of 493 actions to improve care in the analysis of the department chiefs' attributions and to 26% of 446 actions in the analysis of the sources found in hospital documents. Four locally designed quality management activities contributed to more than twice as many actions to improve patient care as did 12 externally designed ones, suggesting that locally designed quality management activities have a greater effect on efforts to improve patient care than do externally designed ones.

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Accession: 045640674

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9109327


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