It’s Healthcare Quality Week!

NAHQThis is National Healthcare Quality Week, started by the National Association for Healthcare Quality to increase awareness of healthcare quality programs and the individuals who implement them.

In honor of the celebration, I wanted to point you to a few quality tools in Minitab Statistical Software that were added specifically for use in the healthcare industry – the G and T Charts.

These charts make it easy to assess the stability of processes that involve rare events and have low defect rates.

For example, hospitals can use G and T charts to monitor rare events like hospital-acquired infections, medication errors, or patient falls. Because these events are so “rare,” traditional control charts (like P charts) don’t work as well, because you need to collect a lot more data in order to detect a shift in the process.

What’s the difference between G and T charts for rare events?

You’ll want to use a G chart when the data are either the date of the event or the number of opportunities until the event occurs, and the T charts comes in handy when you have continuous data like either the date and time of day when the events occurred or the elapsed time between events.

Minitab G Chart

The G chart above was created by a hospital that wanted to monitor the number of post-surgical infections to ensure the infection rate remains low over time. Minitab has flagged two points in red, indicating that the infection rate has increased with infections occurring multiple days in a row.

If you’d like to learn more about G and T charts, there’s an abundance of great information, including examples and tips for collecting your data in Minitab’s Help menu (Help > Help).

Other Statistical Tools for Improving Healthcare Quality

There are also plenty of other statistical tools in Minitab that can help healthcare professionals improve quality. For example, hospital administrators might want to improve scheduling for a certain type of surgery to maximize the capacity of operating rooms and reduce delays. For accurate scheduling, they need to verify the mean surgery time meets a specific value or range.

After collecting data over the course of several days, they perform a simple one-sample t-test in Minitab (Stat > Basic Statistics > 1-Sample t) to determine if the mean surgery time is on target. The results can help the administrators allocate the perfect amount of time for surgeries, without rushing the surgeons or leaving the rooms unnecessarily empty for too long.

National Healthcare Quality week is also a time to recognize the good work of healthcare professionals improving quality, so take a look at these case studies:  NSCCHS Patches Up Wound Care with Minitab and Maintaining A-Positive Blood Quality: Belgian Red Cross Blood Service, and give yourself a high-five if you’re working to improve quality in your healthcare job!

Minitab representatives will be on hand at the Texas Association for Healthcare Quality Annual Conference Oct. 18-19 in Austin, so if you’re there be sure to stop by and visit our booth!

How have you used statistical analysis to improve quality in healthcare?

Check out these blog posts about Minitab tools for healthcare quality:

G and T Charts, and Feedback from the National Association of Healthcare Quality Annual Conference

Quality Improvement in Healthcare: Completing Projects with DMAIC

Monitoring Rare Events with G Charts



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