American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Sample Quality Improvement Plan for Audiology

Purpose:

The Audiology Quality Improvement Plan provides a mechanism of continuous improvement in care through ongoing monitoring and evaluation of patient outcomes.

Goals/Objectives:

The QI plan is designed to improve patient outcomes through refinement of the processes and systems. To accomplish this goal, the following objectives have been identified:

  1. To continuously monitor and evaluate using predetermined indicators
  2. To identify potential or actual problems in care and to implement corrective action
  3. To evaluate the effectiveness of corrective actions to ensure improvement or resolution
  4. To annually evaluate the scope and effectiveness of the QI plan
  5. To report QI activities and findings to the QI committee (established at your facility)

Authority:

The responsibility for the QI plan lies with the director of the clinic and the designated staff.

Monitoring and Evaluation Process:

The QI concept provides for staff members participating in identifying important aspects of care and indicators; development of standards of care/practice, policies, and procedures; problem solving; and implementation of corrective action plans.

Scope of Service:

Audiology service provides screening, evaluation, and treatment of children and adults with hearing and balance problems. Major functions include evaluation of hearing and balance disorders, education regarding hearing loss, and rehabilitation of hearing problems through amplification.

Important Aspects of Care:

  1. Patient Perspective Issues (high volume, problem prone areas)
  2. Safety of Environment (high risk, high volume)

Clinical Indicators:

  1. Audiology service will receive a score of 90% or above on the standardized patient satisfaction questionnaire (for examples, go to the Health Resources and Services Administration Web site). Threshold for action will be scores below 90%. Methodology: Ten patients per month will be mailed satisfaction questionnaires following their audiology visit. Sampling method will be random.
  2. All used, nondisposable items (such as specula, impedance tips, hearing aid dispensing items, and cerumen management tools) will be disinfected as per the infection control policy for the facility. (Expected performance is 100%.) Threshold for action will be below 100%. Methodology: Daily entry in log.

Reporting:

Reporting will be done on a monthly basis or as per the standard operating procedure for the Quality Improvement program for the facility. Reporting will include status of indicators, sentinel events causing negative patient outcomes, resolved problems, and issues for which there has been no resolution.

Annual Reporting:

An annual report will be prepared to indicate how the clinic/facility plans to integrate the information obtained into each QI study conducted.

Adapted from: Lynn, D., & Riquelme, L. F. (1997). Q.I.-the easy way: A practical guide for developing quality improvement programs. Glenmont, NY: New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

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