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Hospital Quality Improvement Plans - a useful source of information?

All hospitals in the province now have individual Quality Improvement Plans (QIPs) that set out indicators for quality improvement.  Each hospital ranks the indicator by priority ('1' for most important for that hospital, '2' for medium, and '3' for least important). The government has recommended a core set indicators that fall into five categories: safety, effectiveness, access, 'patient centred', and 'integrated' (a word they use for some reason to cover the 30 day readmission rate and percentage of ALC days).

The first year for the hospital QIPs was 2011-12. Annual QIP’s must be available to the public via the hospital's web site by April 1. For one example, click this link for the Lakeridge Health "Short Form" QIP. Health Quality Ontario (a government body) is supposed to to analyze the plans and identify gaps, opportunities, and "learnings" (by which I think they mean "lessons").

In a numbers intensive industry, the government has focused on a relatively small number of indicators - just 14 for 2012-13. Nevertheless, the QIP for your hospital is probably worth reviewing if you have a spare half hour -- it will tell you where the hospital is succeeding and where it is falling short on the government's priorities  -- and how the hospital is trying to deal with those shortcomings.

The QIPs will now be expanded to additional health sectors, including primary care and home care. Moreover, the process is supposed to  provide a platform for accountability agreements and funding. So check out the web site of your hospital for the Quality Improvement Plan -- it should be there.


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