5 Lessons Learned on Implementing a National Quality Improvement Project

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A team of organizations that led a project to reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections learned five lessons about how to implement a large, national quality improvement project, according to a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The team, called the National Project Team, consisted of the Health Research & Educational Trust of the American Hospital Association, the Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and the Michigan Health & Hospital Association's Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality. The National Project Team led the On the CUSP: Stop BSI project, an AHRQ-funded initiative to reduce CLABSIs that began in 2008.

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The team was responsible for recruiting states to participate in the project and providing education, data collection and program management to participating hospitals. A final report issued by AHRQ shows that the more than 1,000 hospitals that took part in the initiative reduced their rate of CLABSIs in adult intensive care units by 41 percent over two years.

The report includes five lessons the National Project learned about implementing a large quality improvement project:

1.    Have well-defined, evidence-based interventions.
2.    Build a solid implementation structure and project plan.
3.    Collect and use timely, accurate and actionable data to improve performance.
4.    Tailor national program for local and unit audiences.
5.    Evolve project strategies and emphases over time.

More Articles on the On the CUSP Project:

National CLABSI Project Reduced ICU Infection Rate 41%
Patient Safety Tool: CLABSI Toolkit

Patient Safety Tool: Physician Engagement Self-Diagnostic Worksheet

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