Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is a structured procedure in a healthcare setting where physicians and other individuals collaborate to plan and implement proactive improvements during patient care to achieve positive outcomes. Johnson and Sollecito (2018) explain that CQI is implemented by identifying the areas that need enhancement, collecting and analyzing essential data, communicating the results, showing commitment to the evaluation, and spreading the positive results. CQI is vital because it helps hospitals maximize patient care by reducing costs and variability, meeting crucial regulatory requirements, and improving patients’ quality of services.
CQI has significantly evolved in the last fifty years because of the healthcare sectors’ efforts. This is because articles outlined the deficiencies in the healthcare delivery resulting in the emergence of multidimensional and numerous improvement strategies. The plans included restructuring and reengineering systems, competition incentivizing between organizations and providers, and peer review encouragement. The program also included identifying medical procedures that affected patients, performance evaluation, rewarding good performance, medical education redesigning, poor performance reprimanding, and reporting quality data to the public.
Advanced technology has played a crucial role in the last ten years in improving CQI. The modern CQI includes a wide variety of modified and unique approaches, evolving goals and stakeholders. New technologies, such as electronic health records, are introduced in healthcare facilities to improve record-keeping (Johnson and Sollecito, 2018). New machines have simplified the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, for example, those used in chemotherapy. As a result, a strong bond has been created between patients and healthcare professionals.
Continuous quality improvement and assurance are used in different instances, depending on the evaluation conducted. Cookson et al. (2018) explain that Quality assurance examines whether specific individuals comply with essential standards, while CQI focuses on systems and healthcare procedures (Johnson and Sollecito, 2018). Also, QA is defensive and concentrates mostly on the providers, while CQI is naturally preventive and proactive and focuses on patients’ care.
Cross-disciplinary thinking is essential to the efforts of Continuous Quality Improvement in the healthcare sector. Yousef and Yousef (2017) explain that creating a conducive environment for nurses and patients through implementing practices and policies requires significant changes in healthcare facilities. The collaboration of cross-disciplinary thinking and CQI has helped healthcare professionals understand quality care’s essentiality, such as maintaining patient confidentiality.
Total quality management is a scientific approach that recommends all individuals’ involvement in the enhancement of services and processes to maximize customers’ satisfaction (Yousef and Yousef, 2017). For example, healthcare providers can involve the patient in the treatment process to earn their trust and loyalty. Yousef and Yousef (2017) explain that this approach reduces adverse effects such as deaths because the provider is focused on improving the patient’s condition. Therefore, this method builds a strong bond between healthcare professionals and patients because of their collaboration during the treatment process.
In conclusion, CQI will significantly evolve in the future because of advanced technology and competition between healthcare providers. Improved systems and care delivery methods will be developed to fasten the treatment process in the next 10-20 years. The future expected changes in CQI include augmented reality training of providers, leveraging healthcare data, personalization of patient-customer experience and the use of wearable devices for example activity trackers. Hospitals will use smart technology to increase efficiency and transform data analysis during patient care. As a result, the population’s health management interest will significantly grow resulting in better healthcare outcomes.
Cookson, R., Asaria, M., Ali, S., Shaw, R., Doran, T., & Goldblatt, P. (2018). Health equity monitoring for healthcare quality assurance. Social Science & Medicine, 198, 148-156.
Johnson, J. & Sollecito, W. (2018). McLaughlin & Kaluzny’s continuous quality improvement in health care. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Yousef, N., & Yousef, F. (2017). Using the total quality management approach to improve patient safety by preventing medication error incidences. BMC health services research, 17(1), 1-16.