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ANCC Accreditation with Distinction Criteria Review: Quality Outcomes 3b

The third set of Accredited Provider Distinction Criteria builds on the standard Quality Outcomes criteria. There are three criteria within this group, and all three must be met for a provider to achieve “Distinction.”

The second criterion in this section (3b) states: 

Evidence demonstrates a process description and example that the Provider Unit’s evaluation process resulted in a quality outcome measure that exhibits improvement in healthcare quality, patient, or community outcomes. (If outcomes were not met, identify barriers and challenges to attainment.)

In the standard accreditation criteria, NCPD programs are required to identify a quality outcome and measure it. As with the other Accreditation with Distinction criteria, this criterion builds on that requirement. Instead of simply improving the professional development of the nurses who participate in the educational program, this criterion asks an NCPD program to improve the quality of healthcare, patient outcomes, or even the health of the community at large. Or, at least, it asks a program to try.

There are many types of organizations that include NCPD in their structure. A hospital system may find it easy to track patient metrics and see if an NCPD program is having an impact. A nursing school may have access to community data that will allow them to see if they are having an impact beyond a patient population. Other organizations may need to think smaller to meet this criterion. How might the education they offer improve the quality of healthcare?

So that’s step one. Identify a goal. What is the outcome you’re going to measure?

Step two is how to measure it. It’s useful to think about this step as you’re identifying an outcome. A medical education company such as i3 Health doesn’t have access to the same sort of data that a hospital system might have, so these two organizations are positioned to focus on different outcomes.

We now have an outcome and a way to measure it. Step three is to follow through. Hopefully, when you write your self-study, you’ll find that you’ve had the impact you were hoping for. But it’s okay if you didn’t. This criterion allows for failure because we can still learn and improve when we fail. What went wrong? Why wasn’t the criterion met? Patient non-adherence? Not enough staff? Too little time? What might you want to try the next time you attempt to meet this quality outcome?

The most difficult part of achieving this criterion is identifying a quality outcome that makes sense for your program. The acceptance of failure as part of the quality process leaves you open to try to expand your goals while still achieving Accreditation with Distinction.

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References

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ANCC Accreditation with Distinction Criteria Review: Quality Outcomes 3a

The third set of Accredited Provider Distinction Criteria builds on the standard Quality Outcomes criteria. There are three criteria within this group, and all three must be met for a provider to achieve “Distinction.”

The first criterion in this section (3a) states: 

Evidence demonstrates a process description and example that the Provider Unit utilizes innovative and creative approaches (continuous professional development of CNE team members, use of technology, interprofessional collaboration, or similar) to evaluate its effectiveness.

This criterion looks at how we evaluate the program as a whole. This process is generally done by looking at evaluation forms and maybe longitudinal surveys. We compile questions from multiple activities to get a picture of the whole NCPD program. It’s a functional way to evaluation how effective an NCPD program is, but it’s not very creative. This criterion asks programs to do something more.

So how does a program go about using innovative or creative approaches to evaluate its effectiveness? That’s hard to answer because each program is unique. Perhaps you hold focus groups. Maybe you have the capacity to datamine your electronic health records. Or you might have individualized learning plans that support the continuous professional development of your nursing staff.

Because this criterion is looking for you to be innovative or creative, there is no one right way to meet its requirements. But there is a basic framework you can use. Start by looking at how you currently evaluation your program. Is there other data that would be useful? How can you get that data? How can you analyze it? What does it tell you about your program? Each NCPD program will have a different answer to those questions.

By broadening the sources of information used to evaluate the impact of an NCPD program, planners can learn how to provide better and more effective education. It may take some extra work, but the results will be worth it as the quality of your program improves.

References

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