Background: The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health believes that continuous quality improvement (CQI) contributes to the delivery of high-quality care, thereby improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The opening of a new health service in 2015 provided an opportunity to implement best practice CQI strategies and apply them to a regional influenza vaccination campaign.
Objective: The aim of this project was to implement an evidence-based CQI process within one Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service in South East Queensland and use staff engagement as a measure of success.
Method: A CQI tool was selected from the Joanna Briggs Institute Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System (PACES) to be implemented in the study site. The study site was a newly established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Service located in the northern suburbs of Brisbane. This project used the evidence-based information collected in PACES to develop a set of questions related to known variables resulting in proven CQI uptake. A pre implementation clinical audit, education and self-directed learning, using the Plan Do Study Act framework, included a total of seven staff and was conducted in April 2015. A post implementation audit was conducted in July 2015.
Results: There were a total of 11 pre- and post-survey respondents which included representation from most of the clinical team and medical administration. The results of the pre implementation audit identified a number of possible areas to improve engagement with the CQI process including staff training and support, understanding CQI and its impacts on individual work areas, understanding clinical data extraction, clinical indicator benchmarking, strong internal leadership and having an external data extractor. There were improvements to all audit criteria in the post–survey, for example, knowledge regarding the importance of CQI activity, attendance at education and training sessions on CQI, active involvement with CQI activity and a multidisciplinary team approach to problem solving within the CQI process.
Conclusion: The study found that the implementation of regular, formally organized CQI strategies does have an immediate impact on clinical practice, in this case, by increasing staff awareness regarding the uptake of influenza vaccination against regional targets. The Plan Do Study Act cycle is an efficient tool to record and monitor the change and to guide discussions. For the CQI process to be effective, continued education and training on data interpretation is pivotal to improve staff confidence to engage in regular data discussions, and this should be incorporated into all future CQI sessions.
Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, Bowen Hills, Queensland, Australia
Correspondence: Sandra Hogg, firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no conflict of interest in this project.