Using the PDSA cycle to standardize a quality assurance program in a quality improvement-driven environment

Jt Comm J Qual Improv. 1994 Dec;20(12):696-705. doi: 10.1016/s1070-3241(16)30118-3.


Background: At Parkview Episcopal Medical Center (Pueblo, Colorado), QA means not only quality assurance but also quality alarms-statistical monitoring and analysis of key indicators that lead to the discovery of opportunities for continuous improvement. Data are monitored using statistical process control. Continuous improvement supports quality assurance (QA) just as it supports all other functions at Parkview.

Methods: A PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) analysis form was created for use in conjunction with the data collection tool selected by the user. The data collected and analyzed are made meaningful through the standardization of formats and methods.

Results: Successes with this form demonstrate that QA and quality improvement (QI) can be integrated, allowing processes and outcomes to be improved. Since standardization occurred successfully in 1993, QA has been integrated into the strategic-planning process for 1994. Expectations are that duplicate reports and data gathering will be eliminated.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Colorado
  • Data Collection
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 300 to 499
  • Hospital Records
  • Hospitals, General / standards*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Quality of Health Care / standards*
  • Safety