Overview of Project Description

Each participant will select a simple Clinical Quality Improvement (CQI) project to be completed during the ATP/miniATP. There are several reasons for completing a CQI project:

  • Experience gained from the courses shows that concurrent projects significantly enhance the training program's effectiveness by enabling the participants to internalize principles taught and to translate theory into action.
  • To help you with your project, an Intermountain Healthcare Institute staff member will be assigned to you as a consultant. Although your consultant may not have expertise regarding the specific subject matter, they do have expertise in helping teams with projects. During each session, you will have an opportunity to meet with your consultant to follow-up on projects and assigned homework. Plan to bring copies of project details and graphs for your consultant's review.
  • Finally, student projects may be starting points for more ambitious projects leading to publication, etc. We urge you to consider this opportunity and carefully design your project with this outcome in mind.

Getting Started

The first step is to identify a simple quality problem within your facility or work unit that has good potential for success. Choose a process for which you can collect and analyze measurable data during the next four months. We gear this training program toward clinical quality problems, but a non-clinical quality project is also acceptable. Below are titles of past Alumni projects:

  • "Improving Efficiency of Portable Chest X-ray Use in the ICU"
  • "Improving the Availability of Routine Morning Laboratory Results in the ICU"
  • "Improving Antibiotic Prophylaxis"
  • "Improving the Process of Admitting Patients"
  • "Antibiotic Use in Elective C-Sections"

Some important initial questions to ask when choosing a quality project are:

  • Why is this project important?
  • What impact will it have?
  • Why are we choosing this project?
  • What data will you need to begin collecting or access in order to show measurable outcomes by the end of the course.

The projects that realize the greatest success are those that are:

  • focused
  • have direct impact on you or the way you work
  • have administrative buy-in and support.

Team Participants/Roles

Think about who will be on your team to design, study, and implement this project. Choose individuals who have fundamental knowledge of the process, are motivated to participate on the team, and who are available to work with you on your project. You are to be the facilitator of this team. The facilitator's role will be further defined during the first week of the course. You must compose your team of people with fundamental knowledge of the problem or process you want to improve. Fundamental knowledge is found in the front-line people who actually do the work. Students attending from the same organization are welcome to collaborate and work on a group project.

Aim Statement

Once you have selected a project, write an aim statement. An aim statement is very succinct. It states:

  1. the problem -- often in the form a failure rate,
  2. what improvement you want -- usually a stretch goal, and
  3. a timeframe for completion. Example: Reduce the dictation error rate from 12% to 2% by June 30.

During week one of the ATP, you will be given further instructions on how to tie your "aim" statement to outcomes and reporting.

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