A process improvement framework for trauma


When your trauma program gets a poor result on its TQIP Benchmark Report, you need an organized way to turn ideas into action. Here is the framework we use at my Level II trauma center:

  • Issue identified: What issue or area of opportunity have you identified?
  • Key stakeholders: Who do you need help from and what do you need them to do? (e.g., data collection, chart review, data analysis, financial information, etc.)
  • Action plan: What is your plan for improving performance? What is the timeline for implementation?
  • Implementation: Who is responsible for implementing your plan? Do you need additional resources? What is the timeline for reevaluating the plan?
  • Evaluation: Was the plan effective? Evaluate your results, determine any barriers, identify opportunities for improvement and plan next steps.

My colleagues and I used this process to address an issue with VTE prophylaxis (see How to use TQIP Benchmark Reports to drive performance Improvement).

The key is to develop a process that works for you and your program. There is no one right way to look at process improvement. That is what makes trauma PI so exciting!

Tracy Lauzon, MSN, BSN, RN, CNML is director of trauma services/registry analyst at the Medical Center of Aurora in Aurora, Colorado. She is also a site reviewer for the American College of Surgeons and the State of Colorado.

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