NURS 6231: Week 9: Evaluating Outcomes

How do you ascertain whether a quality initiative has achieved the desired outcomes and produced benefits that outweigh the costs associated with the endeavor? How do you determine if any unintended consequences have arisen? And, why is it important to communicate the results with various stakeholders?

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Evaluation is a critical component of any quality improvement plan. This week, you examine evaluation tools that can be used to monitor quality improvement efforts, and consider how to appropriately measure outcomes. In addition, you explore the value of metrics for communicating this information.

Also this week, you continue to develop your Course Project by synthesizing your analysis and recommendations into an action plan for a quality improvement initiative.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze the benefits of applying evaluation tools to quality improvement initiatives
  • Apply evaluation tools to quality improvement initiatives*
  • Analyze the financial implications of quality in health care organizations*
  • Synthesize analysis and recommendations into a quality improvement action plan*

*These Learning Objectives are assessed in Week 10

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Hickey, J. V., & Brosnan, C. A. (2017). Evaluation of health care quality in for DNPs (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

  • Review Chapter 3, “Conceptual Models for Evaluation in Advanced Nursing Practice” (pp. 61-86) (assigned in Week 3)

Sadeghi, S., Barzi, A., Mikhail, O., & Shabot, M. M. (2013). Integrating quality and strategy in health care organizations, Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

  • Review Chapter 8, “Quantifying the Quality Performance Gaps” (pp. 161–177) (assigned in Week 6)The authors focus on performance measures with particular focus on the relationship between financial and quality performance.
  • Review Chapter 9, “Closing the Gaps” (pp. 179–194) (assigned in Week 7)This chapter explains how to utilize data collected during the evaluation stage in order to improve the quality of health care.

Institute of Medicine. (2001). Crossing the quality chasm: A new health system for the 21st century. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Retrieved from https://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2001/Crossing-the-Quality-Chasm/Quality%20Chasm%202001%20%20report%20brief.pdf

This report outlines the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) six aims to improve the quality of health care. Review this information through the lens of evaluation. (Assigned in a previous week.)

Kaplan, R. S., & Norton, D. P. (1992). The balanced scorecard—Measures that drive performance. Harvard Business Review, 70(1), 71–79.

Retrieved from https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cbmp/pl/68928078/68928080/e20ba91d8e8475b3b5eb13b62efc7de5

In this seminal article, the authors introduce the use of a new performance measurement system called the balanced scorecard. The balanced scorecard provides a comprehensive framework for leaders and managers to align strategic objectives with performance measures.

Kaplan, R. S., & Norton, D. P. (1996). Linking the balanced scorecard to strategy. California Management Review, 39(1), 53–79.

In this early follow-up article, Kaplan and Norton further explain research on the use and application of the balanced scorecard.

Balanced Scorecard Institute. (2012). What is the balanced scorecard? Retrieved from http://www.balancedscorecard.org/BSCResources/AbouttheBalancedScorecard/tabid/55/Default.aspx

Institute for Healthcare Improvement. (2012b). The IHI triple aim. Retrieved from http://www.ihi.org/offerings/Initiatives/TripleAim/Pages/default.aspx

Optional Resources

Marr, B. (2012). What is a balanced scorecard? Retrieved from http://www.ap-institute.com/Balanced%20Scorecard.html

Like most other things in life, outcomes are the bottom line with respect to measurement of success along the path of quality improvement. However, without a careful analysis of the link between access, process, and structure of care, improvements in outcomes seem unattainable.

—Sadeghi, Barzi, Mikhail, & Shabot, 2013

In this Discussion, you consider how to collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data to evaluate the results of quality improvement initiatives. In addition, you discuss the significance of evaluation and how you, as a nurse leader-manager, can contribute in an organization to the large-scale goal of facilitating quality improvement.

To prepare:

  • Review methods for measuring and evaluating quality improvement efforts presented in the Learning Resources. Pay particular attention to how and why it is important to measure outcomes.
  • Select one evaluation tool and analyze its benefits and relevance for the quality improvement plan you are developing for your Course Project.
  • Consider how you, as a nurse leader-manager, can use the results from the evaluation to support the organization’s overarching goals for quality improvement.

By Day 3

Post a brief description of the evaluation tool that you selected. Explain the benefits of applying this tool as part of your quality improvement plan in the Course Project. Also explain how you could use the results from the evaluation to support the organization’s overarching goals for quality improvement.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Suggest an alternative evaluation tool and support your suggestion with evidence from current research literature.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional resources.

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