Efforts to formally evaluate quality improvement (QI) programs and understand their successes and failures have been limited by the lack of standard measures of success and the use of subjective or self-reported measures. This article compares self-reported and externally rated measures of QI success to understand how best to measure QI success.
The retrospective evaluation included 30 organizations participating in QI training during 2006-2008 who, subsequently, used their training to carry out QI initiatives within their organizations. The analysis evaluated the Perfecting Patient Care (PPC) University, operated by the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative (PRHI). Two measures of self-reported QI success based on survey responses and four externally rated measures of QI success based on organization outcome data were assessed.
This article shows that different results may be obtained depending on how QI success is measured and rated. Ideally, evaluations of QI efforts should use externally rated measures, suggests this study.