What is CQI?
You may hear the term “CQI” used from time to time around the Department of EMS and it’s easy to think of this program as the tool that is used to monitor providers’ performance, but do you really know what this vital program is for? CQI is a theory-based management system that looks at processes and outcomes in the hopes of ultimately improving practices and care. It is meant to drive culture changes, provide feedback on how we (as a system) are doing and to identify common causes of variation and potential training blind-spots. CQI is data-driven and centered around patient care. The goals of CQI are to find and fix problems in a positive matter and improve the overall system performance.
While CQI is primarily driven by data and feedback, other important key elements include: accountability, participative leadership, input from all levels of stakeholders, teamwork, and continuous review of progress.
Ultimately, CQI efforts are conducted to ensure that departmental objectives are being met, that quality patient care is being delivered, that standards and regulations are being met, and that safe (effective) practices are enhancing the quality of life for the public that we serve. With that, there is the potential for other benefits which include: improved accountability, improved staff morale, refined service delivery processes, flexibility to meet service delivery changes, and the potential to justify new programs and practices.
At Virginia Beach EMS, our CQI efforts are facilitated by Captain Jerry Sourbeer and Division Chief Jason Stroud. Regular reviews of cardiac arrests cases, diversions, advanced airway (CPAP, RSI, etc.) cases, and STEMI cases are ongoing. In addition, we periodically select other types of cases to review based on regional and/or local healthcare initiatives, random selection, or through OMD input. While the primary goals of CQI do not include individual provider review or reviewing incidents for disciplinary purposes, it should go without saying that if gross negligence is discovered or individual error trends are identified, those may necessitate follow-up.
As information is obtained through our CQI program, it is vital that we share it with you and we will do our best to disseminate the information. If, at any time, you have any questions or feedback about our CQI program, please do not hesitate to contact us and/or let us know how we can better serve you. You may reach Division Chief Stroud at JStroud@vbgov.com or at 385-5057 and Captain Sourbeer at JSourbee@vbgov.com or at 385-5063.