Increasing the Impact of Quality Improvement on Health

An Expert Panel Method for Setting Institutional Priorities

Published in: Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement, v. 21, no. 8, Aug. 1995, p. 420-432

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1994

by Lisa V. Rubenstein, Arlene Fink, Elizabeth Yano, Barbara Simon, Bruce A. Chernof, Alan S. Robbins

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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