Methodologic attributes of quality improvement studies in neonatology: a systematic survey Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • IntroductionQuality improvement (QI) is a growing field of inquiry in healthcare, including neonatology. However, there is limited information on the study setting, and the methodologic approaches used to develop, implement and evaluate QI interventions in neonatology studies. In this study, we describe these intervention characteristics and approaches.MethodsArticles were taken from a previous publication. There, we searched MEDLINE for publications of QI studies from 2016 to 16 April 2020. We retrieved all relevant full-text publications and sampled 100 of these articles for data abstraction, stratified by the year of publication. For each QI study, we described several methodological characteristics that included: the clinical topic of QI, setting, whether the study was multicentre, stakeholder engagement, root cause analysis and related problem identification methods, implementation techniques for QI interventions, types of outcomes and statistical analysis methods used.ResultsWe assessed 100 studies; most were conducted in the USA (56%). Academic settings and multicentre settings comprised 44% and 24% of studies, respectively. Most studies reported stakeholder engagement (81%), but infrequently reported engagement with leadership (32%) and caregivers (10%). Frequently used techniques for implementing interventions include provider education (82%), formal QI methods (42%) and audit, feedback and benchmarking (40%). Both patient-important clinical outcomes (78%) and process outcomes (89%) were frequently reported. P values were frequently reported (80%), but other statistical techniques were infrequently used.ConclusionQI studies in neonatology use diverse multicomponent interventions. Reporting of these methodologic details can be useful in designing, implementing and evaluating QI studies in clinical practice.

publication date

  • September 2022