Tools and Strategies for Continuous Quality Improvement and Patient Safety



The healthcare delivery system is overly complex, nontransparent, and inefficient. Stakeholders are searching for effective remedies to insure that high-quality care is readily available to all no matter their socioeconomic standing and their location. High-performing healthcare organizations differentiate themselves by focusing relentlessly on attention to detail, and continuously on process-improvement initiatives to advance patient care. The science of continuous quality improvement offers a powerful way of thinking about how to transform clinical operations and healthcare teams to this end. In this chapter, we focus on the five quality improvement tools that we recommend every provider to master—checklists, process maps, Ishikawa diagrams, run charts, and control charts—to improve the process and outcomes of surgical care. The tools help visualize, analyze, and track process and outcome data for both individual and groups of patients and should be used routinely by clinicians and healthcare systems to evaluate and improve care. The tools can be used to achieve measurable improvements in the efficiency, effectiveness, performance, accountability, and outcomes of quality in services or processes of care.


Continuous quality improvement Patient safety Process mapping Control chart Checklist Run charts Fishbone diagrams 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Center for Healthcare StudiesInstitute for Public Health and Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Clinical Professor, Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation and Kyle John Rymiszewski Research ScholarChildren’s Hospital of Michigan, Wayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA

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