Successful and long-term practice change cannot be achieved without a well-managed project and the participants’ consistent involvement in all activities. The problem of the impoverished population skipping their follow-up visits has been identified in the practicum site and requires developing a complex resolution plan. Indeed, the number of missed appointments increased by 25%, and the outcomes are severe for patients’ health and the facility’s services quality. The intervention to address the problem must include strategies to influence the identified population’s behavior through updates in practice, communication, and notification; thus, physicians, administrators, and nursing practitioners must be involved (Hickey & Giardino, 2021). This paper aims to develop a project management plan to implement the practice change for decreasing the number of skipped follow-up visits by the site’s impoverished beneficiaries.
Project Management Plan Preparation
The design stage is necessary for researching the evidence, identifying the scope of participants, assessing the range of essential sources, and developing the goals and benchmarks to achieve. Multiple factors force impoverished patients to miss their appointments, such as employment and family obligations, costly transportation, and long clinic wait times (Ofei-Dodoo et al., 2019). Consequently, the project design must include the following:
- Analysis of non-medical peer-reviewed sources and studies about the identified population to retrieve the possible strategies for influencing their behavior and decision-making.
- Collecting the evidence about the severity of the problem of skipped follow-up visits for patient outcomes, the clinic’s services quality, and the healthcare system’s efficiency in general.
- Present the gathered information at a meeting to discuss the participants and identify the practical intervention’s goals and possible threats to the implementation (Hickey & Giardino, 2021).
- Developing SMART objectives to plan precise tasks for the personnel and assessment strategies for the executives, who can be selected among preceptors and quality improvement team members.
Project Management Plan
The project management plan must be based on the research evidence, SMART objectives, and human, time, and financial resources available for the intervention implementation. Studies about the impoverished population and their behaviors towards visiting the clinic revealed that their decision-making could be influenced by changes in practitioners, physicians, and administrators’ operations (Rew et al., 2020). Indeed, the deliverables for all involved must be identified first to help them understand if their role in the intervention is influential (Sipes, 2020). Then, the schedule for task completion, meetings, and controlling events must be established to make the project management effective. Lastly, the plan requires the work breakdown structure with the list of all activities, possible risk identification, and assignment of the team members.
Deliverables for Team Members
In the clinical site, administrators inform the patients about upcoming appointments through phone call reminders, and to address the problem of skipped follow-ups, they will apply additional strategies, such as emails and messengers. Physicians are assigned to improve patient education by teaching how crucial it is to attend an appointment (Ofei-Dodoo et al., 2019). Nursing practitioners will adjust their communication to tailor the importance of follow-up visits and ensure that the client understands. The main deliverable for all team members is positive is the increased number of attended visits and the patients’ interest in knowing more about the importance of the follow-ups.
The intervention activities cannot be scheduled because they depend on the patient’s visits, and the changes for the practitioners, physicians, and administrators’ work are already developed and ready to be used. The essential aspect of controlling the project execution is the follow-up meeting with the team, which has been set for each Friday at 5 PM. The additional meeting with the preceptor and the hospital’s quality improvement team is assigned to be conducted every two weeks (White et al., 2021). Two months after the beginning of the intervention, the results must be calculated and evaluated to develop a further action plan.
Work Breakdown Structure and Risks Assessment
Addressing the problem of the impoverished population skipping their follow-up visits includes a plan for practitioners, physicians, administrators, and assessment activities. They have to integrate different communication approaches and education strategies to interact with the patients and include feedback gathering when appropriate (White et al., 2021). For instance, the WBS for the practitioner is to ask if the patient is aware of the follow-up visit’s importance, discuss if there are possible obstacles to attending them, and make notes about clients’ responses. The decreased number of visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic might be a potential risk that might affect the intervention. In such cases, the project will be paused until the ability to attend the hospital is back to normal.
Team Member’s Assignment and Evaluation
All physicians, practitioners, and administrators who work with impoverished beneficiaries are selected as team members to make the intervention more efficient. Furthermore, the quality improvement union, preceptor, and senior nurses are selected as the project’s facilitators to support and improve the management strategy. The progress evaluation part is crucial for achieving sustainable results, and the related activities, such as assessment form filling and communication with patients, are included in the plan (Rew et al., 2020). The results of patients’ feedback combined with the follow-up visits’ attendance statistics will be presented every eight weeks at the meetings.
Developing the project management plan contains the preparation and execution parts that help build a workable strategy, distribute the responsibilities among the team members, and hold them accountable. The problem of the impoverished population skipping their follow-up visits requires physicians, practitioners, and administrators’ involvement as the intervention is based on their operations’ change. The plan to manage their activities is based on interactions with the clients, feedback gathering, and assessment meetings to adjust the strategy if necessary.
Hickey, J. V., & Giardino, E. R. (Eds.). (2021). Evaluation of quality in health care for DNPs (3rd ed.). Springer Publishing.
Ofei-Dodoo, S., Kellerman, R., Hartpence, C., Mills, K., & Manlove, E. (2019). Why patients miss scheduled outpatient appointments at urban academic residency clinics: A qualitative evaluation. Kansas Journal of Medicine, 12(3), 57. Web.
Rew, L., Cauvin, S., Cengiz, A., Pretorius, K., & Johnson, K. (2020). Application of project management tools and techniques to support nursing intervention research. Nursing Outlook, 68(4), 396-405. Web.
Sipes, C. (2020). Project management for the advanced practice nurse (2nd ed.). Springer Publishing Company.
White, K. M., Dudley-Brown, S., & Terhaar, M. F. (Eds.). (2021). Translation of evidence into nursing and healthcare (3rd ed.). Springer Publishing.