Critical processes and performance measures for patient safety systems in healthcare institutions: a Delphi study
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This dissertation study presents a conceptual framework for implementing and assessing patient safety systems in healthcare institutions. The conceptual framework consists of critical processes and performance measures identified in the context of the 2003 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence. Methodology: The Delphi technique for gaining consensus from a group of experts and forecasting significant issues in the field of the Delphi panel expertise was used. Data collection included a series of questionnaires where the first round questionnaire was based on literature review and the MBNQA criteria for excellence in healthcare, and tested by an instrument review panel of experts. Twenty-three experts (MBNQA healthcare reviewers and senior healthcare administrators from quality award winning institutions) representing 18 states participated in the survey rounds. The study answered three research questions: (1) What are the critical processes that should be included in healthcare patient safety systems? (2) What are the performance measures that can serve as indicators of quality for the processes critical for ensuring patient safety? (3) What processes will be critical for patient safety in the future? The identified patient safety framework was further transformed into a patient safety tool with three levels: basic, intermediate, and advanced. Additionally, the panel of experts identified the major barriers to the implementation of patient safety systems in healthcare institutions. The identified "top seven" barriers were directly related to critical processes and performance measures identified as "important" or "very important" for patient safety systems in the present and in the future. This dissertation study is significant because the results are expected to assist healthcare institutions seeking to develop high quality patient safety programs, processes and services. The identified critical processes and performance measures can serve as a means of evaluating existing patient safety initiatives and guiding the strategic planning of new safety processes. The framework for patient safety systems utilizes a systems approach and will support healthcare senior administrators in achieving and sustaining improvement results. The identified patient safety framework will also assist healthcare institutions in using the MBNQA Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence for self-assessment and quality improvement.
Akins, Ralitsa B. (2004). Critical processes and performance measures for patient safety systems in healthcare institutions: a Delphi study. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from