Last Updated on March 10, 2023 by Admin
Identify a quality improvement opportunity in your organization or practice. In a 1,250-1,500 word paper, describe the problem or issue and propose a quality improvement initiative
Identify a quality improvement opportunity in your organization or practice. In a 1,250-1,500 word paper, describe the problem or issue and propose a quality improvement initiative based on evidence-based practice. Apply “The Road to Evidence-Based Practice” process, illustrated in Chapter 4 of your textbook, to create your proposal.
Include the following:
- Provide an overview of the problem and the setting in which the problem or issue occurs.
- Explain why a quality improvement initiative is needed in this area and the expected outcome.
- Discuss how the results of previous research demonstrate support for the quality improvement initiative and its projected outcomes. Include a minimum of three peer-reviewed sources published within the last 5 years, not included in the course materials or textbook, that establish evidence in support of the quality improvement proposed.
- Discuss steps necessary to implement the quality improvement initiative. Provide evidence and rationale to support your answer.
- Explain how the quality improvement initiative will be evaluated to determine whether there was improvement.
- Support your explanation by identifying the variables, hypothesis test, and statistical test that you would need to prove that the quality improvement initiative succeeded.
Expert Answer and Explanation
Quality Improvement Proposal
Overview of the problem
Nursing homes in the United States are said to serve approximately three million elderly Americans every year (Curran, 2017). Nursing homes provide care to the elderly, which they are not able to receive in their home setup. One of the common health issues frequently experienced by patients in nursing homes is the risk of infections.
Working in a nursing home setup, I can also attest that infections are one of the major challenges which I frequently encounter. Given the nature of patients I serve, having a clear distinction of a patient who has been infected can be challenging, given that the descriptive symptoms can be elusive.
The elderly, because of the aging factor, have a much weaker immunity as compared to people who are much younger. This puts them at a higher risk of getting infections. Likewise, getting infected may cause more strain to their bodies, with the rate of healing being slower as opposed to younger people. This highlights the importance of infection prevention measures in nursing homes. Some of the common infections normally seen in nursing homes include influenza, pneumonia, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), urinary tract infections, to list a few (Curran, 2017).
There are various factors that may lead to cases of infections in elderly patients living in nursing homes. One of the factors is poor hygiene practices when handling elderly patients. Simple practices like hand washing and proper disposal of contaminated material are important to keeping infections at bay (Stone et al., 2015).
Neglecting to carry such practices as they should, subject the patients to high risk of infections. There are other causes of infections, including coming into contact with infected persons. There are several instances where visitors carry with them infections, especially airborne infections like influenza, which also exposes the patients at risk of being infected.
Patients in nursing homes are not always tended to by qualified nurses, they are at times looked after by people who have no prior qualifications in nursing (Curran, 2017). Some of the essential practices in the prevention of infections may not be known to them. This quality improvement proposal will, therefore, focus on hand hygiene and decontamination program, which will be aimed at reducing the instances of infections experienced in nursing care homes.
Why a quality improvement initiative is needed and the expected outcome
The previous section explained the issue of infections in nursing homes as being a major cause of morbidity and mortality experienced. This prompt actions to be taken to mitigate and reduce the number of infection cases experienced. This proposal considered proper hand hygiene and decontamination as the independent variables which can have an impact on the reduction of infection cases (dependent variable) in nursing homes.
Hand hygiene techniques, including proper handwashing, during, and after handling patients in nursing homes, are considered to be vital in preventing the spread of infections (Stone et al., 2015). Many at times, the caregivers who are not always nurses, may forget to properly clean their hands when dealing with multiple patients. This exposes other patients to the risk of being infected.
Contamination is also one of the known issues which bring about infection in nursing homes. Contamination can be brought about by poor waste disposal procedures (Cousins, 2016), Handling of contaminated material within the confines of nursing homes, therefore, needs to be done properly. The environment which the patients live in should also be conducive enough to reduce the risk factors which result in infections.
The nursing home already has in place hand hygiene and decontamination procedures; however, they are not as stringent as they should be. This quality improvement proposal will, therefore, focus on reinforcing both hand hygiene and decontamination procedures used by restructuring how the two are implemented in the nursing home. This will be done to reduce the instances of infections experienced within the facility.
This quality improvement proposal will use the following hypothesis to test the outcome of the initiative. The first hypothesis, which is the null hypothesis, will be: There is no effect on using hand hygiene and decontamination program in reducing infections in nursing homes (H0). The alternate Hypothesis, on the other hand, will be: there is an effect on using hand hygiene and decontamination program in reducing infections in nursing homes (H1).
Previous research showing the viability of the quality improvement program
Several studies were carried out, highlighting the success of using the quality improvement methods established by this proposal to deal with the prevention of infections in nursing homes. The first research was conducted by Assab and Temime (2016). The study explained how hand hygiene could be used as a way of controlling norovirus.
The results obtained by the research indicated a substantial reduction of infection cases was hand hygiene compliance was done by both the patients and the caregivers in nursing homes. The study also cited that instituting good hand hygiene measures provides a cost-effective way of controlling the spread of infections in nursing homes and should therefore be encouraged.
An article by Cousins (2016) also highlights the effectiveness of using proper decontamination processes in controlling the spread of infections in nursing homes. The author emphasized physical environmental and proper handling of equipment cleanliness as being one of the factors that help to prevent the spread of infections. Proper disposal of contaminants was also considered an essential part of the decontamination process.
The use of ultraviolet rays as a means of carrying out decontamination has been known to be effective in dealing with infection-causing organisms in nursing homes, as indicated by Kovach et al. (2016). The results obtained by the study done by Kovach et al. (2016), indicated by instituting decontamination protocols using ultraviolet rays had a significant impact on the reduction of infection-causing microorganisms in nursing homes. The studies clearly portray the effectiveness of the selected quality improvement initiative as a means to control and prevent infections in nursing homes.
Steps necessary to implement the quality improvement initiative
To make the quality improvement initiative successful, the process has to be done in a systematic manner. The first step in the quality improvement initiative will be to establish a proper plan of how the initiative will be implemented, including establishing the sources of funding. The intent of the quality initiative will be to strategically place hand wipes in places where they can be easily accessible by residents and the caregivers of the nursing home.
The initiative will also propose changing the current decontamination policy to increase the frequency of decontamination but at the same time, not affecting the daily activities of the nursing home. Innovative technologies like the use of ultraviolet room disinfection technique will be advised, given its high effectiveness as indicated by Kovach et al. (2017).
The second step will involve educating both the residents and the caregivers on the new handwashing and decontamination program to accustom them to why it is important. The importance of training, as described by Andreasson, Eriksson, and Dellve (2016), is to also facilitate high uptake of an initiative resulting in a boost in the effectiveness of the program.
Implementation of the program will be the third step, which will be done seamlessly in a manner that, preferably, does not interrupt the normal functioning of the facility. Given the program does not involve a lot of restructuring of the facility, then it is expected that the implementation process will be conducted smoothly. The last step will be to continuously monitor and control the running of the program. Control entails establishing areas that need improvement in the program to further enhance it.
Assessment of the quality initiative
The quality improvement initiative will need to be evaluated for its effectiveness. One of statistical test which will be used to measure its effectiveness will include establishing the number of new infection cases after implementation of the initiative. The frequency will be measured against previous records of infection to evaluate whether there was an improvement or not.
Andreasson, J., Eriksson, A., & Dellve, L. (2016). Health care managers’ views on and approaches to implementing models for improving care processes. Journal of nursing management, 24(2), 219-227.
Assab, R., & Temime, L. (2016). The role of hand hygiene in controlling norovirus spread in nursing homes. BMC infectious diseases, 16(1), 395.
Cousins, G. (2016). Role of environmental cleanliness and decontamination in care homes. Nursing Standard. 30. 39-43. 10.7748/ns.30.19.39.s42.
Curran, E. T. (2017). Infection outbreaks in care homes: prevention and management. Nursing Times, 113(9), 18-21.
Kovach, C. R., Taneli, Y., Neiman, T., Dyer, E. M., Arzaga, A. J. A., & Kelber, S. T. (2017). Evaluation of an ultraviolet room disinfection protocol to decrease nursing home microbial burden, infection, and hospitalization rates. BMC infectious diseases, 17(1), 186.
Stone, P. W., Herzig, C. T., Pogorzelska-Maziarz, M., Carter, E., Bjarnadottir, R. I., Semeraro, P. K., … & Schweon, S. (2015). Understanding infection prevention and control in nursing homes: A qualitative study. Geriatric Nursing, 36(4), 267-272.
Alternative Expert Answer and Explanation
Quality Improvement Proposal
Overview of the problem in my organization
In the United States, nursing homes offer care services to more than three million people, mostly the elderly, every year. Many nursing homes in the country have specialized in providing care to the elderly since many elderly people are suffering a lot at home due to a lack of specific skills that they demand due to their condition. The risk of infections has been one of the primary problems that many nursing homes in the country control since the elderly have weak immunity, and an infection can easily cause their condition to deteriorate.
I have been working in a nursing home that deals with the elderly people, and I can attest that infections have been a major challenge that I have been encountering on many occasions. Having interacted with many patients under my care who suffer the effects of being infected, I can indicate with solid proof that infection is becoming a difficult thing to control in nursing homes, and many elderly patients have been suffering as a result (Morrill et al., 2020).
At times the descriptions of the infections of the patients can be elusive to us, the caregivers. But nonetheless, we have to do our best always to ensure that patients will have the best care and help them have a better life despite their conditions.
The immunity of the elderly people is always weak when compared to that of the youths. Due to this fact, they will always be at much risk of getting infections. The rate of healing is also slower and more costly. Therefore, we have been practicing infection prevention and taking all necessary measures to ensure that it remains controllable. Some common infections that most of the elderly patients have been suffering from include; methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Influenza, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia (Lee et al. 2018).
In my research, I have come to realize that there are a number of factors that increase the probability of a patient suffering from an infection and especially elderly people living in nursing homes. Poor hygiene tops the list of these factors. Therefore, proper sanitation and hygiene should be maintained at all costs in nursing homes.
Some measures that should be maintained always are cleaning the hands when handling elderly patients and also proper disposal of all contaminated materials. Coming into contact with infected persons is also one of the factors that make the rate of infections go high. Victors have also been found to carry infections with them, and they infect elderly people during their visitations to nursing homes.
The problem is that in most nursing homes, there are few or no qualified persons who attend to the elderly people. Therefore, these people have limited knowledge on how to prevent the spread of infection. Nursing homes need to invest a lot in qualified personnel who have enough knowledge of how infections can spread, their effects, and how they can be prevented.
The benefits of a quality improvement initiative and the expected outcome
Infections are the major issue affecting nursing homes and, in this case, my organization (Fournier, Richet & Weinstein, 2019). There is a need for action to be taken that will lower the rate of infections. Based on this proposal, the suitable independent variable will be decontamination and proper hand hygiene since these two measures will have an impact on the rate of reduction of cases of infections which will also be a suitable dependent variable for the case.
The nursing home has worked on decontamination procedures and hand hygiene. The problem is that these measures are not reinforced properly. This quality improvement proposal will put more emphasis on reinforcing decontamination procedures and hand hygiene.
The hypothesis that follows will be necessary for use in this quality improvement proposal for testing the results of the initiatives. The first hypothesis for this proposal will be; there is no effect on using a decontamination and hand hygiene program to reduce the rate of spread of infections in the nursing home.
This is a null hypothesis. The alternate hypothesis for the proposal is; there is a big effect on using of decontamination and hand hygiene programs in reducing the rate of spread of infections in nursing homes.
Previous research that shows the viability of the quality improvement program
Many studies have been undertaken which have highlighted the success and suitability of quality improvement methods that have been established by this proposal to address the issue of infections in nursing homes. Assab and Temime (2018) conducted that first research. According to their findings, hygiene can be used in the control of Norovirus. The results provided that hand washing was efficient in controlling infections.
Research by Cousins (2019) suggested that the use of proper processes in decontamination was effective in the control of infections in nursing homes. Cleanliness of the equipment was necessary, and also keeping the physical environment in the nursing home was paramount to the prevention of the spread of infections. Proper disposal of contaminants was also cited as essential in the control of infections.
Decontamination can also be achieved by the use of ultraviolet rays, according to research by Kovach et al. (2020). According to their findings, this method was easy to use, and also the outcomes were a positive indication that control of infections in a nursing home was indeed possible. The ultraviolet rays were able to make visible the parts that had microorganisms that were; likely to cause an infection.
As a result, other measures would be taken that would ensure that these microorganisms were eradicated or killed, and this would be one of the ways of ensuring that elderly people are free of infections.
Steps needed to be undertaken in the implementation of the quality improvement initiative
The quality improvement initiative needs to be successful. Therefore, it is necessary for the process to be undertaken in an orderly manner. The step that should start is having a proper plan on how the initiative should be implemented. Determining the sources of funding will be necessary. The motive should be to know the strategic places where the hand wipes can be placed so that they can be accessible and available to a majority of the people, including residents of the nursing home and visitors.
The decontamination process should be frequent, and innovation in the use of ultraviolet room disinfection should be encouraged.
The step that follows will focus on educating the caregivers and the residents on the new decontamination program and hand washing routine. They should be made aware of the importance of cleaning and remaining in a safe environment so that they can be cooperative and improve on their routine of taking part in these programs.
The third step will involve the implementation of the program. It should be done in a manner that the other daily programs of the nursing home will not be interrupted or brought to a standstill. This is because a lot of restructuring will be necessary, and a lot of time will be needed for the program to be effective. The last step should involve frequent control and monitoring of the initiative so that it will be a success.
Assessing the quality initiative
There should be a need for evaluation of the effectiveness of the quality improvement initiative. The establishment of new cases of infection in the nursing home after the initiative has been implemented will involve the use of statistical test that will be used as a measure of its effectiveness. Previous records will be needed since they will be used for measuring the frequency of the current rate of infections and determining whether the infection rate is on the increase or on the decline.
Therefore, the necessary measures will be taken based on the outcomes and the results that will be achieved, and this will determine what should be done next.
Assab, R., & Temime, L. (2018). The role of played by hand hygiene in the control of norovirus spread in nursing homes. BMC Infectious Diseases, 16(1), 1-10.
Cousins, G. (2019). Role of environmental cleanliness and decontaminating the care homes. Nursing Standard (2019+), 3(19), 36.
Fournier, P. E., Richet, H., & Weinstein, R. A. (2019). The epidemiology and control of Acinetobacter baumannii in health care facilities. Clinical infectious diseases, 42(5), 692-699.
Kovach, C. R., Taneli, Y., Neiman, T., Dyer, E. M., Arzaga, A. J. A., & Kelber, S. T. (2017). Evaluating an ultraviolet room protocols of disinfection to reduce microbial burden in nursing home, infection, and hospitalization rates. BMC infectious diseases, 17(1), 1-8.
Lee, A. S., De Lencastre, H., Garau, J., Kluytmans, J., Malhotra-Kumar, S., Peschel, A., & Harbarth, S. (2018). Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Nature reviews Disease primers, 4(1), 1-23.
Morrill, H. J., Caffrey, A. R., Jump, R. L., Dosa, D., & LaPlante, K. L. (2020). Antimicrobial stewardship in long-term care facilities: a call to action. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 17(2), 183-e1.
Quality Improvement Proposal
Simplified Guideline for Success
See Rubric for specific details
Paragraph 1 – Introduction of QI Proposal
- Clearly explain and describe the problem you wish to address.
- Clearly state your NEW Quality Improvement Proposal that you are developing. PLEASE CLEARLY STATE THIS. MAKE SURE IT IS SOMETHING NEW.
- Thesis statement should be clear as it pertains to your NEW QI Initiative and its implementation. Say “The purpose of this Quality Improvement Proposal is to determine the effect of [this] on [that].” You would be surprised how many proposals never say what they are proposing. “This” and “that” should be your independent (this) and dependent (that) variables that you also identify later in the proposal.
Paragraph 2 – How your QI Proposal Addresses the Problem
- Clearly discuss why your new initiative is needed.
- How does your new initiative help address the problem?
- Clearly discuss the expected outcomes
- Support your explanation
Paragraph 3 – Presentation of Research
- Present research to demonstrate support for the quality improvement initiative and its projected
- The research results strongly demonstrate support for your initiative and projected outcomes.
- The three peer-reviewed sources must meet all assignment criteria and provide critical support for your initiative.
Paragraph 4 – Steps to Implement your QI Proposal
- Clearly identify the steps necessary to implement your quality improvement initiative.
- The implementation steps must be well-supported with evidence and rationale.
Paragraph 5 – Evaluation of your QI Proposal
- Explain how the quality improvement initiative will be measured in detail.
- Your evaluation is appropriate to your quality improvement initiative.
- Your evaluation method proposed is well supported.
Paragraph 6 – Variables, Hypotheses, and Test Used
- Present and discuss the independent and dependent variables
- Explain the null and alternate hypotheses.
- Describe the statistical tests needed to prove the quality improvement succeeded are presented and accurate.
- The proposed elements will prove whether the quality improvement succeeded.
Other Elements for Success
- Clear and convincing argument that presents a persuasive claim in a distinctive and compelling manner.
- Writer is clearly in command of standard, written, academic English.
- All format elements are correct (i.e. required word count, third person, grammar, paragraph indentation, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt font, etc)
- Sources are completely and correctly documented, as appropriate to assignment and style, and format is free of error. Please see GCU’s Writing Center for help with this.
Other Answered Questions:
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