Describes the successful implementation of an ongoing Quality Action Program (QAP) in a Veterans' Administration (VA) hospital designed to link quality improvement to strategic planning. Members of the institution's quality council participated in a structured consensus intervention that included reviewing educational materials, completing a quality action survey, participating in an expert panel meeting, and ranking priorities. Results indicate that the top-ranked quality improvement criterion--continuity of care--improved significantly between the pre- and post-QAP periods, showing that expert panel methods can be used to link strategic planning goals and quality improvement efforts.
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