States participating in Project JOINTS, a six-month quality improvement campaign to reduce infection risk after joint replacement surgery, adhered to three new evidence-based practices significantly more than non-participants.
Does a Quality Improvement Campaign Accelerate Take-Up of New Evidence?
A Ten-State Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial of the IHI's Project JOINTS
Published in: Implementation Science, (2017)12:51. doi: 10.1186/s13012-017-0579-7 ; doi for erratum: 10.1186/s13012-017-0591-y
Posted on RAND.org on May 23, 2017
- Would a quality improvement campaign be able to promote adherence to three new evidence-based practices to reduce infection risk after joint replacement surgery?
BACKGROUND: A decade ago, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement pioneered a quality improvement (QI) campaign, leveraging organizational and personal social networks to disseminate new practices. There have been few rigorous studies of the QI campaign approach. METHODS: Project JOINTS (Joining Organizations IN Tackling SSIs) engaged a network of state-based organizations and professionals in a 6-month QI campaign promoting adherence to three new evidence-based practices known to reduce the risk of infection after joint replacement. We conducted a cluster-randomized trial including ten states (five campaign states and five non-campaign states) with 188 hospitals providing joint replacement to Medicare. We measured adherence to the evidence-based practices before and after the campaign using a survey of surgical staff and a difference-in-difference design with multivariable adjustment to compare adherence to each of the relevant practices and an all-or-none composite measure of the three new practices. RESULTS: In the campaign states, there were statistically significant increases in adherence to the three new evidence-based practices promoted by the campaign. Compared to the non-campaign states, the relative increase in adherence to the three new practices in the campaign states ranged between 1.9 and 15.9 percentage points, but only one of these changes (pre-operative nasal screening for Staphylococcus aureus carriage and decolonization prior to surgery) was statistically significant (p<0.05). On the all-or-none composite measure, adherence to all three evidence-based practices increased from 19.6 to 37.9% in the campaign states, but declined slightly in the comparison states, yielding a relative increase of 23 percentage points (p=0.004). In the non-campaign states, changes in adherence were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: Within 6 months, in a cluster-randomized trial, a multi-state campaign targeting hospitals and professionals involved in surgical care and infection control was associated with an increase in adherence to evidence-based practices that can reduce surgical site infection.
- A cluster randomized trial of a quality improvement campaign called Project JOINTS significantly increased adherence to evidence-based practices that can prevent post-surgical infection after hip and knee arthroplasty.
- States that participated in the campaign improved more in adherence than states not included in the campaign.
- The design of this randomized trial, and its use of comparison groups and baseline measurements, may prove useful for rapidly assessing the effects of large-scale quality improvement efforts.