Use of technology and quality improvement tools may not mean anything unless the individuals involved in the improvement project can convince employees within the organization to act on the knowledge gained during a process improvement analysis. Implementation strategies are a key component in process improvement within an organization and are necessary to successfully roll out and monitor new and existing initiatives. Successful implementation of a quality improvement program requires “planning, execution of the plan, and post-execution control” (Ross, 2014, p. 537).
The planning phase requires that individuals have a good understanding of the quality issue to be resolved. Different problems often require specific staff to be involved in the process. Resources that staff will need available during an implementation are also required. The execution phase requires that prerequisites are established in order for a successful implementation. These prerequisites may include senior leadership support, enhanced organizational communication, receptive and able culture, committed resources (people and equipment), and an explicit plan (Bell & Omachonu, 2011). Lastly, post-execution requires management to implement monitoring to ensure that the quality improvement program established and implemented is working according to plan. These controls will help the organization maximize the potential for a successful implementation and will ensure that the implemented initiative is working and performing as planned (Vuk, 2012).
The inherent changes in healthcare have caused within the industry a more focused approach to patient care through improved quality, with particular attention to practice policies. Practice policies are “preformed recommendations on treatment based on the level of information known about medical outcomes and patient preferences” (Ross, 2014). The goal of practice policies is to provide the best possible care in order to run an effective and efficient medical practice. Physicians in the past always had latitude in making decisions about medical practice policies; however, with continuous changes on the horizon and technology at the forefront of all current and future innovations, a shift is inevitable in meeting the needs of patients’ and their families. Four specific areas in need of practice policies that physicians require in order to stay abreast of changes or improve patient care are information technology tools to assist them in keeping up with medical advances in medical knowledge, information systems to help them track and analyze data and to locate pertinent research for decision-making purposes, identified differences in patterns of practice (patients not receiving the right treatment or needed care), and lastly, the high cost of medical care (Francis, 2013). These are all areas in need of practice policies in order to provide patients and their families with state-of-the-art care.