QUALITY ASSURANCE AND IMPROVEMENT
This section highlights areas to help you assess the integration of abortion into your practice, and can be folded into existing assessments you already do for new services.
1. Gathering Data and Performing Audits
Gathering data and performing periodic audits will allow you to measure how well your newly integrated services are operating and assess the patient experience. Involving staff and patients in identifying necessary improvements will facilitate positive change. Consider using the PDSA (Plan Do Study Act) model that has been endorsed by the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research.
To undertake an audit of reproductive services such as abortion care in your practice, consider gathering data on the following indicators:
- Length of time between first call and appointment date
- Patient wait time and cycle time (time of arrival to departure)
- Patient pain, pain management, and overall experience
- Abortion volume (utilization of resources)
- Person-centered contraceptive counseling measures
- Complications and after-hours calls
- Coding practices and actual reimbursement
2. Patient Survey Processes
Having consistent and useful patient feedback is crucial to offering excellent patient care. This information creates opportunities for reflection, enriches learning, and ultimately helps to improve the patient’s experience. You might utilize patient satisfaction surveys and complaint forms already in use by your practice, or use the sample provided in Chapter 12.
In collecting patient feedback, it is important to create and maintain an environment where feedback (both reinforcing and constructive) is used to improve systems. A patient with a complaint is frequently satisfied to know that someone has listened to their issue and that action is being taken toward resolution and prevention.