AHRQ Quality Indicators Toolkit Strengthens Nursing Coursework at University of Phoenix
The University of Phoenix's graduate nursing program uses AHRQ's Quality Indicators (QI) Toolkit as a learning tool to help students better understand the quality improvement process and improve development of projects that enhance patient care. Since introducing the AHRQ QI Toolkit as a curriculum resource in early 2019, professors report that student projects on topics such as falls prevention, cardiac care self-management, and urinary infection reduction have greatly improved.
"Using the AHRQ Quality Indicators Toolkit improves MSN students' knowledge of the project development process, which will be helpful to them after they graduate and move into advanced nursing roles in both administration and education," said Pamela S. Card, D.N.P., a professor at the university.
The AHRQ QI Toolkit helps hospitals use AHRQ's Quality Indicators, which are standardized, evidence-based measures of healthcare quality. Hospitals can use these indicators to measure and track clinical performance and patient outcomes.
The toolkit also provides general guidance on how to use quality improvement methods to develop a project in a hospital setting. Nursing students are using those methods for their practicum project.
"The toolkit provides project development tools that assist the students with distinct parts of their quality improvement project, starting with the Stakeholder Analysis and Gap Analysis and moving into the Implementation Plan and Implementation Plan Measurement," Dr. Card said.
Instructors became aware of the AHRQ QI Toolkit after asking Ryan Mills, an instructional designer at the university, to revise the nursing courses because ”some of the instructors indicated their students were confused about what they were being asked to complete and turn in as their assignment deliverables."
"I discovered the AHRQ Quality Indicators Toolkit and immediately realized the value it would provide. It offers a means for students to work through each component of the project development process and see how each component relates to the whole process," Mills continued.
"Most of the toolkit's features were adopted, but with some minor adjustments to make the tools applicable to every type of QI project, even those that were not based on the Quality Indicators," he said.
Since the University of Phoenix incorporated the AHRQ Quality Indicators Toolkit in its MSN curriculum, Dr. Card said, "The Quality Indicators' project development tools have helped students to break down and address specific aspects of their project, allowing them to go into greater detail."
"The quality of the students' project has definitely improved," she said. "Use of the AHRQ tools improves the depth of their work and assists them to focus more clearly on their topic."