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BMJ Qual Improv Rep. 2015 May 20;4(1). pii: u208829.w3554. doi: 10.1136/bmjquality.u208829.w3554. eCollection 2015.

Quality improvement education to improve performance on ulcerative colitis quality measures and care processes aligned with National Quality Strategy priorities.

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1
PRIME Education, Inc. (PRIMEĀ®), USA.

Abstract

Studies on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have reported suboptimal approaches to patient care. In the United States, the findings have motivated leading gastroenterology organizations to call for initiatives that support clinicians in aligning their practices with quality measures for IBD and priorities of the National Quality Strategy (NQS). We designed and implemented a quality improvement (QI) education program on ulcerative colitis in which patient charts were audited for 30 gastroenterologists before (n = 300 charts) and after (n = 290 charts) they participated in QI-focused educational activities. Charts were audited for nine measures, selected for their alignment with four NQS priorities: making care safer, ensuring patient engagement, promoting communication, and promoting effective treatment practices. Four of the measures, including guideline-directed vaccinations and assessments of disease type and activity, were part of the CMS Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). The other five measures involved counseling patients on various topics in ulcerative colitis management, documentation of side effects, assessment of adherence status, and simplification of dosing. The gastroenterologists also completed baseline and post-education surveys designed to assess qualitative outcomes. One of the educational interventions was a private audit feedback session conducted for each gastroenterologist. The sessions were designed to support participants in identifying measures reflecting suboptimal care quality and developing action plans for improvement. In continuous improvement cycles, follow-up interventions included QI tools and educational monographs. Across the nine chart variables, post-education improvements ranged from 0% to 48%, with a mean improvement of 15.9%. Survey findings revealed improvements in self-reported understanding of quality measures and intentions to apply them to practice, and lower rates of perceived significant barriers to high-quality care. The findings indicate the potential for QI education to support gastroenterologists in improving their performance on key measures of care quality for patients with ulcerative colitis.

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