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Basic Tools for Quality Improvement in Health Care Informatics

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This textbook introduces students to the essential tools of quality improvement. The emphasis is placed on health care informatics, as reflected in the several examples contained in the text. The book is written to be accessible to any student in the areas of health information management, health care informatics, and health care industrial engineering. Although having some statistical background would be a plus, such knowledge is not a prerequisite to understanding and applying the tools presented here. Several How-To sections are included to demonstrate the hands-on implementation of the dis-cussed concepts using software such as Minitab, Visio, and Excel.

The textbook starts with Module 1, which introduces the general concepts of quality and improvement frameworks. Module 2 discusses tools for identifying opportunities for improvement. Module 3 reviews tools for collecting and aggregating data. Module 4 discusses statistical and graphical tools for assessing the variability and capability of the process. Module 5 appraises graphical and analytical tools for evaluating relationships in the data. Module 6 presents tools for assessing the causes and risks of quality problems. Module 7 introduces tools for benchmarking quality from different processes. Module 8 reviews tools typically utilized to improve quality. Module 9 considers tools for monitoring and controlling a process. The Appendix presents factors for constructing variable control charts.

This textbook is not meant to be a comprehensive manuscript of all aspects of quality improvement. Instructors and students can supplement the module reading with additional resources such as those referenced in the bibliography section of this text. The reader is also encouraged to consult a complementary textbook by the same author, titled Applications of Control Charts for Quality Improvement in Health Care.

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Jerome Niyiora

Jerome Niyirora, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Health Information Management (HIM) Program, which is part of the College of Health Sciences at SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly). Jerome graduated from SUNYIT (now SUNY Poly) with a dual bachelor’s degree in HIM and Health Services Management. Subsequently, he earned a Master of Science in Health Services Administration. Jerome also holds a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from SUNY University at Buffalo, and a Ph.D. degree in Systems Science from SUNY Binghamton University. Jerome is a Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA). His research focuses on the integration of system science theory, calculus of variations, and machine learning techniques into the improvement and optimal design of healthcare processes.