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Enhancing Patient Care: The Craniofacial Quality Improvement Committee

Early on a Monday prior to the Cleft and Craniofacial Clinic, several of the speech therapists, nurses, nurse practitioner, and the clinic coordinator meet monthly to make sure we are doing the best job that we can for your child. This group effort or "committee” is called the Craniofacial Quality Improvement (QI) committee which was first developed July 2011.

Quality management is one of the American Cleft Palate Association’s (ACPA) Standards of Care for Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Teams. It is also one of the Standards of Care within our Indiana University Health system. We felt one way to best meet this Standard of Care was through the development of this committee.

Our main goal is to develop QI projects all aimed at improving patient care that we give to our cleft and craniofacial patients. The most commonly used QI model and the one used for our projects is the PDSA method.

  • P is for Plan. This is where you determine what tasks need to be identified to help achieve a desired change.
  • D is for Do. Carry out the plan.
  • S is for Study. What does the data show? This is where you insert data or provide tables or graphs.
  • A is for Act. Decide what actions should be taken to make this improvement.

Improvements from our QI projects have included a decrease in wait time to obtain a sleep study and improved methods of intervention with the management of feeding newborns with a cleft.

Quality improvement is also achieved by providing in-service training sessions for our Craniofacial team members to keep current with the team management of children with craniofacial anomalies. We develop and revise our Craniofacial educational handouts. We also discuss quarterly patient satisfaction results to learn what we do well and what we can do better for you and your child.

These efforts will optimize the care that your child receives in the Cleft and Craniofacial Clinic at Riley at IU Health. For more information about our clinic or to schedule an appointment, please call 317.274.2489.

Carol Ritter, RN, BSN

Author of this Article

Carol is a pediatric registered nurse in the Cleft and Craniofacial Clinic at Riley at IU Health. She is the co-founder of Camp About Face and the Camp About Face Leadership Academy.

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