The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) announces it has released its first-ever Illuminating Quality Improvement toolkit, a robust bundle of behind-the-scenes resources previously available only through in-person courses. The comprehensive kit provides step-by-step guidance to execute QI studies that can in turn drive improved outcomes and boost patient satisfaction.
“Quality improvement studies are an essential step toward achieving accreditation in this industry, but they can be intimidating for the time-stretched professional,” said Cheryl Pistone, RN, MA, MBA, clinical director of ambulatory operations for AAAHC. “This toolkit is the self-study version of a half-day course, allowing users to review and absorb the information on their own schedule.”
The information and resources in the Illuminating Quality Improvement toolkit are based on a facilitator-led seminar offered by AAAHC at accreditation conferences. Designed to be used on-site in a healthcare organization, the resource provides a user-friendly guide to the QI component of the AAAHC accreditation process. Designed to assist those looking to be accredited, the kit offers value beyond AAAHC-accrediting organizations to any ambulatory health care provider seeking to identify disparities and improve outcomes.
“The Illuminating QI toolkit features a visual format for users to leverage when evaluating their data, defining improvement goals and implementing change,” said Pistone. “It facilitates more efficient decision making by highlighting where organizations are exceling and where improvements should be made. This drives value and effective allocation of resources.”
The Illuminating QI toolkit is a complete set of information and templates users can complete and refer to in assessing quality activities for continuing relevance and identifying when they have the potential to launch meaningful improvement studies. The bundle includes a worksheet for identifying possible study topics, explanations on how to develop measurable performance goals and exercises to help users look at finished studies and evaluate them.
The packet also aligns with the 10 elements of AAAHC Standards for quality improvement studies, offering modules that explain how to conducting a complete Quality Improvement study that demonstrates compliance with the Standards. By following the comprehensive guides, worksheets and tools in the QI toolkit, health care organizations can avoid pitfalls that may hamper efforts to meet accreditation Standards – such as constructing a study with unrealistic goals or submitting a study that is missing a key component.
“Many administrators view quality improvement as data collection, but collecting data is just the beginning of the process,” said Pistone. “The goal of the toolkit is to make it easier for health care organizations to collect the right data, in a strategic and trackable way, and to use it to build meaningful Quality Improvement studies that solve problems and increase efficiency.”
The Illuminating QI Toolkit is available for $125 at www.aaahc.org/publications.