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Evidence-Based Quality Improvement Training Programs

Building Staff Capability and Organizational Capacity

Sarff, Laura DNP, RN, MBA, CPHQ, NEA-BC; O'Brien, Roxanne PhD, RN, CPHQ

doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0000000000000416
Original Article: PDF Only

Background: Patient harm from medical errors is frequently the result of poorly designed systems. Quality improvement (QI) training programs should build staff capability and organizational capacity for improving systems.

Problem: Lack of internal expertise in QI and financial impact of hiring consultants deter organizations from developing QI training.

Approach: One safety net hospital, with minimal resources, used evidence-based elements to create a Quality Academy Program.

Outcomes: Significant outcomes demonstrated individual capability in undertaking QI initiatives. Staff who continued QI posttraining and the number of initiatives launched demonstrated organizational capacity. Feedback showed an increase in confidence with projects intended to improve care processes and patient outcomes.

Conclusions: The elements shown to be essential in QI programs to build capability and capacity for organizational improvement can improve patient outcomes and organizational work processes as well as impact staff engagement and morale.

LAC + USC Medical Center, Los Angeles, California (Dr Sarff); and Department of Nursing, The California State University, Fullerton (Dr O'Brien).

Correspondence: Laura Sarff, DNP, RN, MBA, CPHQ, NEA-BC, LAC + USC Medical Center, 2051 Marengo St, Los Angeles, CA 90033 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

Accepted for publication: April 11, 2019

Published ahead of print: May 24, 2019

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