HealthDecember 30, 2014

NDNQI measures aim to improve healthcare safety and quality

Quality care is one of the hottest topics in nursing today. Not only does it benefit patients, but providing quality care also boosts the facility's  bottom line. Safety and quality go hand in hand, and when care is safe, patient-centered and beneficial, patient outcomes improve, patient satisfaction ratings increase, and complications and liability issues decrease.

To help you compare your quality measures against national, regional, and state norms for hospitals of the same type, the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) has compiled a database and quality measurement program. NDNQI was established in 1998 by the American Nurses Association (ANA) in response to ANA’s Safety and Quality Initiative. Used by 2,000 hospitals nationwide, NDQNI is the largest provider of unit-level performance data.

NDNQI data allows staff nurses and nursing leadership to review and evaluate nursing performance in relation to patient outcomes. Hospitals can use the information to establish organizational goals for improvement at the unit level, and mark progress in improving patient care and the work environment. It can also help your facility avoid costly complications.

NDNQI resources are drilled down to unit-level data. Examples of units are adult critical care units, pediatric med-surg combined units, and operating rooms. Participating hospitals submit data on each eligible nursing care units. The NDNQI Unit Structure classifies units by patient population and unit type.

To identify important safety topics, NDNQI works with the National Quality Forum (NQF), a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to “improve American healthcare through the endorsement of consensus-based national standards for measurement and public reporting of healthcare performance data that provide meaningful information about whether care is safe, timely, beneficial, patient-centered, equitable and efficient.”

Current NDNQI measures include:

  • Nursing Staff Skill Mix
  • Nursing Hours per Patient Day
  • Assault/Injury Assault Rates
  • Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection Rates
  • Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infection Rates
  • Fall/Injury Fall Rates
  • Hospital/Unit Acquired Pressure Ulcer Rates
  • Nurse Turnover Rate
  • Pain Assessment/Intervention/Reassessment Cycles Completed
  • Peripheral IV Infiltration Rate
  • Physical Restraint Prevalence
  • RN Education/Certification
  • Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia Rates
  • Falls in Ambulatory Settings
  • Pressure Ulcer Incidence Rates from Electronic Health Records
  • Nursing Care Hours in Emergency Departments, PeriOperative Units and Perinatal Units
  • Skill Mix in Emergency Departments, PeriOperative Units and Perinatal Units
  • Hospital Readmission Rates

How are you using these safety benchmarks to improve quality in your facility? Should there be additional NDNQI measures?  Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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