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Tailoring an educational program on the AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators to meet stakeholder needs: lessons learned in the VA.

Shin MH, Rivard PE, Shwartz M, Borzecki A, Yaksic E, Stolzmann K, Zubkoff L, Rosen AK. Tailoring an educational program on the AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators to meet stakeholder needs: lessons learned in the VA. BMC health services research. 2018 Feb 14; 18(1):114.

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BACKGROUND: Given that patient safety measures are increasingly used for public reporting and pay-for performance, it is important for stakeholders to understand how to use these measures for improvement. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) are one particularly visible set of measures that are now used primarily for public reporting and pay-for-performance among both private sector and Veterans Health Administration (VA) hospitals. This trend generates a strong need for stakeholders to understand how to interpret and use the PSIs for quality improvement (QI). The goal of this study was to develop an educational program and tailor it to stakeholders'' needs. In this paper, we share what we learned from this program development process. METHODS: Our study population included key VA stakeholders involved in reviewing performance reports and prioritizing and initiating quality/safety initiatives. A pre-program formative evaluation through telephone interviews and web-based surveys assessed stakeholders'' educational needs/interests. Findings from the formative evaluation led to development and implementation of a cyberseminar-based program, which we tailored to stakeholders'' needs/interests. A post-program survey evaluated program participants'' perceptions about the PSI educational program. RESULTS: Interview data confirmed that the concepts we had developed for the interviews could be used for the survey. Survey results informed us on what program delivery mode and content topics were of high interest. Six cyberseminars were developed-three of which focused on two content areas that were noted of greatest interest: learning how to use PSIs for monitoring trends and understanding how to interpret PSIs. We also used snapshots of VA PSI reports so that participants could directly apply learnings. Although initial interest in the program was high, actual attendance was low. However, post-program survey results indicated that perceptions about the program were positive. CONCLUSIONS: Conducting a formative evaluation was a highly important process in program development. The useful information that we collected through the interviews and surveys allowed us to tailor the program to stakeholders'' needs and interests. Our experiences, particularly with the formative evaluation process, yielded valuable lessons that can guide others when developing and implementing similar educational programs.

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