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QUALITY MANAGEMENT

Quality Management

Quality Management is a continuous, systematic process with four main components:

  • Quality planning: process of identifying relevant quality standards for a project and determining how to meet them. This proactive approach ensures that products, services, or project meets stakeholder requirements and expectations.
  • Quality assurance: include activities implemented within a quality system to fulfill service requirements. It is the systematic measurement, comparison with standards, process monitoring, and a feedback loop to prevent errors.
  • Quality control: verifies deliverables meet specified standards.
  • Continuous process improvement: systematic and continuous actions that lead to measurable improvement in services and/or the status of targeted individuals or groups, often using a quality improvement project framework.

Nutrition and Dietetics Credentialed Practitioners can play a vital role in quality management and process improvement across all practice areas. Quality Management can be both a practice area and a career path for credentialed practitioners.

The recorded presentation Quality Forum: Career Advise from RDN Quality Experts (FNCE 2021) showcases how credentialed practitioners specialize in quality, sharing insights from their career journeys. It also offers quality-related job advice and guidance on quality specific certifications.

For more information on how credentialed practitioners can be a part of the quality management profession, the Careers in Quality handout highlights practitioners in quality career sectors and reviews the education, skills, and training needed for roles in Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI).

The Quality Resource Collection offers a comprehensive index of resources on quality nutrition and dietetics practice, supporting the development of quality management knowledge as a critical component of the field.

Quality Improvement

Quality in healthcare is the degree to which health services increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge (National Academy of Medicine).

Quality Improvement (QI) involves systematic and continuous actions that lead to measurable improvements in services and/or the status of targeted individuals or groups. When looking to reduce variation, achieve predictable results, and improve outcomes, it is important to focus on standardized processes and structures.

Performance Improvement (PI) is a systematic process that involves detecting and analyzing performance problems, designing, and developing interventions to address these problems, implementing the interventions, evaluating the results, and sustaining the improvement.

This Quality Improvement 101 short video can assist individuals in learning more about quality management concepts, resources, and tools.

Most importantly, no degree or certification is needed to be involved or lead a QI/PI project. QI can be done at any time, in any area, and at any level of difficulty. Before starting any QI or PI, it is key to secure support from leadership at all levels and departments involved, as well as to align QI with the institution and the department’s mission, vision, and goals. One thing to keep in mind, is to always collect data before and after the project while making sure the data speaks to the QI problem.

Some of the benefits of QI include:

  • Reduces costs and/or waste
  • Improves delivery of services and outcomes
  • Allows for better organizational strategic planning
  • Creates accountability for actions
  • Fosters positive interprofessional team relationships
  • Recognizes excellence

The below graph shows the basic steps recommended for any process improvement project. Not all steps need to be taken, especially in smaller projects. The Quality and Process Improvement Basics 30-minute video explains at depth each of the steps in the structure and offers some examples for some of the key components.

 

With this structure in mind, this action plan can support QI/PI project teams in achieving their goals. Having a plan in place can greatly support the steps to achieve the project goal.

National Quality Strategies

Launched in 2022, the National Quality Strategies (NQS) is a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) plan to improve the quality and safety of health care. With a vision of shaping a resilient, high-value health care system that delivers high-quality, safe, and equitable care, it focuses on underserved and under-resourced communities, and uses all of CMS’ programs. The Quality Strategies and Health Equity Guide handout showcases major areas of national quality strategy, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Quality Action Plan and Social Determinants of Health tools and resources.

Mentorship for Quality in Nutrition and Dietetics Program

The Mentorship for Quality in Nutrition and Dietetics Program, is designed to support credentialed practitioners in the process of developing and implementing continuous quality improvement projects, including the Global Malnutrition Composite Score and Nutrition Care Process in their facility.

 

  • Additional information can be found in the program guide.
  • Application, found here, is open from June 1st through June 30th of every year.
CPE Offerings and Resources

Click here for a list of available CPE resources and upcoming events.

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