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    Never mind your IQ. Are you focusing on QI?


    You’ve probably been doing it your entire career: Aiming for the elusive but invaluable Quality Improvement. “When we implement a change to make our practice safer, smarter, more efficient, and better for our patients, we are really practicing quality improvement,” says Margo J. Reeder, M.D., assistant professor with the department of dermatology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

    Now, Quality Improvement, or QI, has a name and a bigger role in practices of all types. “The changing landscape of healthcare payment and reimbursement has brought quality improvement to the leading edge of our practice,” Dr. Reeder says. “As the country shifts to value-based healthcare, QI and outcomes will become a central part of what makes a ‘good’ dermatologist. By understanding the process for quality improvement, dermatologists can demonstrate their good work using valid quality improvement methods.”

    Dr. Reeder and her co-presenter, Daniel D. Bennett, M.D., discussed QI in an interview with Dermatology Times before their presentation about the topic at the summer meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in Boston.

    QI may sound like a fuzzy buzzword or something that’s simply obvious—try to do a better job. But there’s more to it than that, says Dr. Bennett, vice chair of Clinical Affairs with the department of dermatology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. It even has a history.

    The quality improvement movement largely arose in as a way to improve manufacturing processes, he says. “Patient care is obviously very different from manufacturing, but there are many elements in health care that are amenable to improvement through QI processes like PDSA” — Plan-Do-Study-Act.   

    Next: What is Plan-Do-Study-Act?

    Randy Dotinga
    Randy Dotinga is a medical writer based in San Diego, Calif.


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