• Describing the Patient Care Experience: Quality Improvment in Federally Qualified Health Centers in Alaska

      Cooke, Shawna (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2017-05-01)
      The purpose of this quality improvement project was to evaluate whether the quality assurance/performance improvement (QAPI) plan at a federally qualified health center (FQHC) provided a valid mechanism for assessing the overall patient experience or if implementing a multimodal approach to evaluating the patient experience provided a more accurate depiction on which to base operational decisions. The project used the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) framework to examine the efficacy of a multimodal approach to assessment of the patient care experience. The aims were to describe the patient care experience in a FQHC located in a small community in Alaska using a qualitative descriptive approach; and to examine the qualitative findings in relation to those derived from the aggregate FQHC survey data in order to make recommendations for a sustainable approach to evaluating the patient care experience in this FQHC environment. Provider relationships greatly influenced satisfaction and the perception of care. Participants long for a community clinic connection, to feel valued and connected to the FQHC and the community. Participants were satisfied with interagency coordination and communication, but struggled with understanding the inner workings of the health care system within the community. Participants were eager for community-based opportunities for learning and engagement. The results derived from the focus groups added important information in describing the patient care experience, supported the premise that a qualitative descriptive approach would add additional information not previously derived from the quantitative data, provided an opportunity to engage the community, and elicited a more accurate depiction of the care experience.