The Care and Keeping of Clinicians in Quality Improvement

Int J Qual Health Care . 2020 Sep 23;32(7):480-485

Our findings highlight areas that organizations and professional development programs should focus on to promote clinician development and engagement in quality improvement. Barriers related to training, time, mentorship, organizational support and implementation must be concurrently addressed to augment the effectiveness of other approaches.

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Objective

Although frontline clinicians are crucial in implementing and spreading innovations, their engagement in quality improvement remains suboptimal. Our goal was to identify facilitators and barriers to the development and engagement of clinicians in quality improvement.

Design

A 25-item questionnaire informed by theoretical frameworks was developed, tested and disseminated by email.

Settings

Members and fellows of the International Society for Quality in Healthcare.

Main Outcome Measures

Self-efficacy and effectiveness in conducting and leading quality improvement activities.

Results

We received 212 responses from 50 countries, a response rate of 21%. Dedicated time for quality improvement, mentorship and coaching and a professional quality improvement network were significantly related to higher self-efficacy. Factors enhancing effectiveness were dedicated time for quality improvement, multidisciplinary improvement teams, professional development in quality improvement, ability to select areas for improvement and organizational values and culture. Inadequate time, mentorship, organizational support and access to professional development resources were key barriers. Personal strengths contributing to effectiveness were the ability to identify problems that need to be fixed, reflecting on and learning from experiences and facilitating sharing of ideas. Key quality improvement implementation challenges were adopting new payment models, demonstrating the business case for quality and safety and building a culture of accountability and transparency.

Conclusions

Our findings highlight areas that organizations and professional development programs should focus on to promote clinician development and engagement in quality improvement. Barriers related to training, time, mentorship, organizational support and implementation must be concurrently addressed to augment the effectiveness of other approaches.