The aim was to describe quality of care from a patient perspective among adolescents receiving orthodontic treatment and to assess the relationship between quality of care and outcome-related aspects. The research design was cross-sectional. The sample consisted of 151 young people (mean age 17.1 years, SD: 2.2; 53% girls and 47% boys) receiving orthodontic treatment in the Stockholm region in Sweden (response rate 75%). Data were collected using the Quality from the Patient's Perspective questionnaire. The highest quality of care perceptions were noted on items dealing with receiving the best possible orthodontic treatment and being treated with respect. Less favourable perceptions of the quality of care were found regarding the opportunity to participate in the decisions related to the orthodontic treatment. In order to improve the quality of care a more active involvement of these patients in the decision-making process is suggested. The item 'I received the best possible orthodontic treatment' noted the highest subjective importance rating. The youngest participants reported the most favourable scores and the oldest the least. The majority (74%) reported that they were 'completely satisfied' with the result of the orthodontic treatment. However, 52% claimed that they had not followed all of the advice obtained during the treatment period, and 29% indicated some or more hesitation about attending the same dentist for future treatment.
The Alberta Cardiac Access Collaborative (ACAC) is a joint initiative of Alberta's health system to improve access to adult cardiac services across the patient journey. ACAC has created new care delivery models and implemented best practices across Alberta in four streams across the continuum: heart attack, patient navigation, heart failure and arrhythmia. Emergency medical providers, nurses, primary care physicians, hospitals, cardiac specialists and clinicians are all working together to integrate services, bridge jurisdictions and geography with one aim--improving the patient journey for adults in need of cardiac care.
Alberta's integrated approach to chronic disease management programming embraces client-centred care, supports self-management and facilitates care across the continuum. This paper presents strategies implemented through collaboration with primary care to improve care of individuals with chronic conditions, evaluation evidence supporting success and lessons learned from the Alberta perspective.
The optimal competence level of personnel involved in prehospital emergency care is a matter for discussion. In Sweden a national quality improvement process has been initiated including strict regulation of the authorization of ambulance personnel to administer drugs and increased involvement of registered nurses. The aim of the present study was to assess from a national survey the present status of the ongoing quality improvement process in prehospital emergency care in Sweden. A questionnaire, detailing organizational, staffing, competence and functional aspects, was sent to all medical directors of prehospital EMS. The response frequency was 87.5%. Variations in the local organization of the prehospital care were observed. Only a limited number (20%) of the districts organized the ambulance services according to the competence level of the personnel. It was found that the competence level of the personnel involved in prehospital emergency care had improved considerably compared with the situation 5 years ago. A majority of the ambulancemen had increased their competence level by completing nurse assistant training and more registered nurses had been employed. The changes in the competence level and organization of the ambulance services and prehospital emergency care were considered to have had moderate (38.5%) or great (51.9%) impact on the quality of the services during the past 5 years. The effect was reported by 53.2% of the directors to be objectively verified from review of ambulance records, regular proficiency tests, patient survival data (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), and analyses of computer-based records. It is concluded that the present study clearly shows that quality improvement process initiated by the Swedish authorities has resulted in a considerable improvement of prehospital emergency care in Sweden during the past few years.
This study investigates the relationship between hospital quality improvement (QI) team success and changes in empowerment, 'organizational commitment, organizational citizenship behaviour' (OCB) and job behaviour related to QI. Data were collected from administrative staff, healthcare professionals and support staff from four community hospitals. The study involved a field investigation with two data collection points. Structured questionnaires and interviews with hospital management were used to collect data on the study variables. High scores were observed for organizational commitment, OCB and job behaviour related to QI when individuals identified with teams that were successful. Low scores were observed when individuals identified with teams that were unsuccessful. Empowerment was positively related to job behaviour associated with QI. It is concluded that participation on QI teams can lead to organizational learning, resulting in the inculcation of positive 'extra-role' and 'in-role' job behaviour.
In 2001, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care introduced the Ontario Stroke Strategy by designating regional stroke centres across the province. The primary role of these centres is to coordinate stroke care within the region and across the care continuum in keeping with best practices. Concurrently, Trillium Health Centre was identifying best practice projects to support its ongoing quest for excellence. With Trillium designated as a regional stroke centre, acute ischemic stroke care was an obvious choice for a best practice project. The aim of the project was to improve access to care and quality of care for stroke patients from emergency through acute care to in-patient rehabilitation. The team chose the rapid cycle change methodology. This approach to quality improvement advocates the testing of a series of small changes (i.e., process improvement ideas) in tandem with measurements to assess the impact of the change to drive further process improvements. The project was deemed a success, resulting in significant improvements in the timeliness and quality of care.
One strategy for improving access to palliative care services in rural and remote communities is to educate community-based health professionals in the knowledge and skills required to provide end-of-life care. It is, therefore, important to evaluate palliative care educational initiatives. This article provides an evaluation of the interdisciplinary education program at Lakehead University which aims to: improve the knowledge and skills of individual providers; contribute to the development of palliative care programs in rural communities; and develop palliative care trainers to educate their co-workers in the workplace. A survey of 353 providers who participated in the education program was completed after eight years of providing education. Results confirm that the goals of the education program were met, and that rural and remote communities reported a greater capacity to deliver palliative care. Nevertheless, respondents identified a lack of resources, especially home care visits, as an obstacle to improving care.