Quality improvement (QI) programs have become common in paramedic systems, but they are often limited to individual agencies. Modern paramedicine involves many different agencies and inter-agency QI programs would better reflect their co-operative efforts. Similarly, inter-agency use of clinical outcome measurements can offer system level performance data. This study’s intent was to explore the feasibility of planning an inter-agency QI program that uses outcome measures.
This study used a modified Delphi methodology. A 49-member panel of inter-agency representatives was convened to identify and prioritise clinical outcome-based topics. Over a 3-month period, two online surveys were conducted followed by a 1-day face-to-face meeting.
The study demonstrated very high participation rates. Results progressed from an initial wide range of 38 topics to a final consensus of two: infection/sepsis and patient safety/care pathways, complete with outcome measures.
Inter-agency quality improvement planning is an under investigated area, but this study demonstrates that it is feasible. Additionally, this planning can incorporate clinical outcome measures that inform system level discussions about quality. Other paramedic agencies may draw on the study’s processes when planning their own quality improvement programs.
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