Using data to drive quality improvement projects


Measuring and analyzing data is essential for any quality improvement project. Data can validate whether an anecdotal assumption indicates the need for a quality improvement initiative and can help showcase the success of any intervention.

At today’s session, “Using Data to Inform Quality Improvement,” attendees will learn how to develop balanced metrics for quality improvement projects, understand distinctions between quality improvement and traditional research projects, and identify how different measures of the same data can tell vastly different stories.

Dr. Ethan Kuperman

The session will be divided into three 20-minute sections. Ethan Kuperman, MD, MSc, FHM, clinical assistant professor, University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City, will begin by discussing how to develop balanced metrics by exploring a venous thromboembolism prophylaxis quality improvement project.

Next, Aparna Kamath, MD, MS, SFHM, assistant professor and academic hospitalist, Duke University Health System, Durham, N.C., will demonstrate the distinction between quality improvement and research by exploring medication reconciliation. “I will also emphasize the need for feasibility and rigor in data gathering and analysis in addition to accuracy when doing a quality improvement project,” she said. “Our workshop will make these tasks less daunting for hospitalists doing quality improvement projects.”

Finally, Justin Glasgow, MD, PhD, inpatient medicine faculty and Value Institute senior clinical scholar, Christiana Care Health System, Newark, Del., will explore how improper data definitions led to differing interpretations while developing and deploying an early warning system. “Attendees will learn how to design a quality improvement project to ensure that they measure interventions in a manner that ensures they have had true success, while not creating any unintended consequences,” Dr. Glasgow said.

Dr. Justin Glasgow

“The session is important as it will help attendees develop successful projects that their colleagues will respect and that their bosses will admire,” added Dr. Glasgow. “They will gain confidence to turn their experience into distributable scholarship.”

“Hospitalists at all stages of their careers can benefit from this presentation,” Dr. Kuperman said. “Whether you’re preparing for your first quality improvement project or getting ready for a systemwide redesign, collecting the wrong data or misusing collected data can ruin your results or lead you to the wrong conclusions.”


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