The Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Program is a dynamic tool created to assure every chart has a clinical review addressing elements of the documentation standards and clinical practice. This process demonstrates the process of review along with the various tasks that make up the CQI process. As part of determining what elements of a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) to implement, EMS Consulting Services will look at a number of policies, procedures, software applications, and current processes that are currently in place.
We believe that one of the largest components of a CQI program is the documentation process and policies. Most likely, the policies or practices will need modification to allow the recommended CQI elements to work. A review of the clinical staff’s workflow process is observed in charting behaviors. For some agencies, we have found the documentation process to be very robust to completely lacking.
Once the documentation policy is in place, it needs to be tested and confirmed that the clinical staff can obtain the new requirements. At times, we have noted that modification may be necessary to documentation standards before moving into the CQI process. This may be a shift in company culture and may need to attend too prior to moving forward.
When it is time to move on to specific CQI processes and the understanding the desire of management, involving clinical staff has been to work the best with implementation. Clinical staff being involved in the development of this program can provide benefit where they can explain to their peers the reason why confidential peer-to-peer review process is needed.
Creating a CQI practice will have many benefits for the organization. Once specific identifiers are identified and reviewed by crewmembers will allow management and the medical director more time to focus on clinical indicators that need to be addressed with your clinical staff. A CQI Process Map will be developed that will provide a visual diagram of the CQI process to supplement the policy. This will provide a simple high-level overview of the program. Within emsCharts or another ePCR software, just before the CQI process is in place, modifications to various code tables configuration will need to occur. When placing the CQI process in place with the staff members, the current quality assurance levels within emsCharts will need to be redefined and designed to automate the CQI process. Each QA level will have specific objectives for specific staff members at each QA level.
In addition to several code files and QA levels modifications, we will redesign and define the use of “Special Reports” and the reasons why they are used. In addition, to the Audit Trail report that can collect specific data elements that are determined from the patient category. A patient category is a complex code file, but very useful part of the system that is being underutilized.
Once those processes are completed, we will need to simplify some of the reporting standards so we can compile usable data elements and to verify the data elements are in fact what you are looking to collect. Most of these processes can be done with automation and be sent directly to your email without even interfacing with emsCharts.
I cannot stress that with these new processes in place, you should see immediate improvement in documentation standards, improve in the crews knowledge of protocols, and be able to see the thought processes of the crews in their documentation. I believe that you will be impressed with your staff after only a few months of this being in place.
When the CQI process is in place, it will guarantee that your crewmembers know the quality indicators for documentation, enhance their knowledge of your treatment protocols, and allow you to support the statement that “We provide great care.”
Contact our CQI team today for a more in depth consultation or for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org