Identifying Practice Gaps for Quality Improvement

Topic: Healthcare Research
Words: 624 Pages: 2

Nursing requires continuous development for each professional involved because of the novelties and technology being implemented to enhance healthcare. Furthermore, quality improvement practice gaps must be addressed to balance an organization’s goals and the current professionalism of its employees (Nash et al., 2019). For instance, outpatient clinic nurses’ lacking quick and evidence-based decision-making is harmful to patients in critical conditions. The issue of insufficient knowledge or experience must be timely resolved with workable methods such as extended education (Murphy & Janisse, 2017). This paper aims to discuss how a quality improvement practice gap can be identified, studied, and addressed in an outpatient clinic setting.

Quality improvement practice gaps are inevitable in an outpatient clinic because nursing personnel with a different scope of involvement works there. Indeed, healthcare providers with years of experience in imaging and screening might have difficulties with the novel equipment, and it would severely influence patient care (Murphy & Janisse, 2017). On the opposite, the recently graduated nurses can be aware of the latest practices yet fail at performing within a facility’s norms. It is crucial to timely identify and address quality improvement practice gaps, and the appropriate methodology is to use data-driven evidence and tools (Nash et al., 2019). A performance issue can be found in the healthcare outcomes established in an outpatient facility by its executives, or the government is systematically unachieved in a particular specification (Nash et al., 2019). Moreover, the feedback gathered from patients can help reveal the areas where quality improvement is necessary.

If performed for the outpatient facility, the identification tools can help discover the demand for quality improvement in the use of MRI. Equipment and algorithms required for the procedure continuously change due to technological development, and missing crucial aspects of imaging is unsafe (Talbot, 2019). MRI is performed in most outpatient clinics, and studying it through DNP projects can help facilities develop workable approaches to addressing the quality gaps once they are identified.

The methods to address the quality improvement practice gap for nurses involved in an MRI procedure must be data-driven. Consequently, a responsible team needs to be developed to set benchmarks and the measurement standards to check continuously (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2018). Once the goals of closing the gaps in MRI performance are identified, the information based on problematic events, patients feedback, and nurses’ questions must be gathered. Imaging is essential for an outpatient clinic, and the procedure is frequently included in the treatment or diagnosis; thus, the scope of data for a limited period, such as 3-5 years, can be sufficient (Talbot, 2019). The gathered evidence then will allow the practitioners to address the problem through educating personnel and clients and providing handouts or safety posters at screening units.

Another tool to close the quality improvement practice gap in performing MRI is extended education for all personnel involved. For instance, an outpatient facility can invite radiology scientists, physicians, and practitioners from other organizations to share their experience and provide an evidence-based explanation of how the imaging works (Davis et al., 2019). Such educational events are an opportunity for the nurses to receive professional answers to their questions about MRI safety and therefore make better decisions at work.

An outpatient clinic includes various procedures and activities involving nursing practitioners of different experience levels; therefore, quality improvement gaps are inevitable. However, workable methods of identifying and addressing the issues exist to help facilities maintain high performance. Clinics can create improvement teams responsible for gathering data about the problematic aspects and then help the employees close the gap between their activities and the desired goals. Based on the example of performing MRI, continuous education and timely assistance for nurses is necessary for maintaining a high quality of the procedure.


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2018). Key driver 2: Implement a data-driven quality improvement process to integrate evidence into practice procedures. 

Davis, D., Maughan, E. D., White, K. A., & Slota, M. (2019). School nursing for the 21st century: Assessing scope of practice in the current workforce. The Journal of School Nursing, 1059840519880605.

Murphy, L. J., & Janisse, L. (2017). Optimizing transition to practice through orientation: a quality improvement initiative. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 13(11), 583-590.

Nash, D. B., Joshi, M. S., Ransom, E. R., & Ransom, S. B. (Eds.). (2019). The healthcare quality book: Vision, strategy, and tools (4th ed.). Health Administration Press.

Talbot, N. (2019). MRI Technologist expanded practice: maintenance of CADD (continuous ambulatory delivery devices). Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, 50(3), S5-S6.

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