Fifolt, Matthew, Julie K. Preskitt, Andrew C. Rucks, Kathryn J. Corvey, & Elizabeth C. Benton (2017, January/March). Promoting continuous quality improvement in the Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance through Q-sort methodology and learning collaboratives. Quality Management in Health Care, 26(1), 33-39. (doi: 10.1097/QMH.0000000000000124)

Abstract: Objective: Q-sort methodology is an underutilized tool for differentiating among multiple priority measures. The authors describe steps to identify, delimit, and sort potential health measures and use selected priority measures to establish an overall agenda for continuous quality improvement (CQI) activities within learning collaboratives. Methods: Through an iterative process, the authors vetted a list of potential child and adolescent health measures. Multiple stakeholders, including payers, direct care providers, and organizational representatives sorted and prioritized measures, using Q-methodology. Results: Q-methodology provided the Alabama Child Health Improvement Alliance (ACHIA) an objective and rigorous approach to system improvement. Selected priority measures were used to design learning collaboratives. An open dialogue among stakeholders about state health priorities spurred greater organizational buy-in for ACHIA and increased its credibility as a statewide provider of learning collaboratives. Conclusions: The integrated processes of Q-sort methodology, learning collaboratives, and CQI offer a practical yet innovative way to identify and prioritize state measures for child and adolescent health and establish a learning agenda for targeted quality improvement activities.

Matthew Fifolt <mfifolt@uab.edu> is in the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama (USA).

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