By Sharon A. Cusanza, MSN, RN, NEA-BC
NKC Consultant and Educator
Magnet® program directors (MPDs) wear many different hats as they lead, coordinate, and document nursing excellence in their organizations. One of those hats is coordinating quality improvement (QI) projects to document the many needed empirical outcomes (EOs) required in the 2014 Magnet Manual. This manual has 24 EO standards that translate to up to 44 individual sources of evidence. Having a background in QI is an advantage but is not required and not always possible.
The fathers of QI, Shewart and Deming, established a strong framework to help us improve the quality of care that we provide: PDSA—Plan, Do, Study, Act. The steps include planning a change, trying out the plan, studying the results, and then acting on what you learn from the analysis of the test of change. The Toyota Production System/Lean is another model for QI. This framework applies a similar methodology that concentrates on the elimination of waste in processes to achieve the ideal state. Whichever QI model your organization uses should be clearly stated in your organization’s and/or nursing’s QI plan that will be attached to the Organizational Overview documents.
A QI activity should be based on the analysis of data that reveals a gap in the desired state. Some questions to ask before embarking on an improvement project are:
Here are some tips to navigate the QI aspects of the MPD role:
As we look toward the future of Magnet, the bar of excellence will be continuously raised. QI activities that result in empirical outcomes will be at the forefront of the movement.
This article was originally published in December 2016.