Using Project Management Methodology to Plan and Track Inpatient Care

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Abstract:

Background: Effective care of each patient throughout a hospital admission involves executing a specific set of tasks to produce a favorable outcome within an appropriate time frame. The ProjectRounds™ methodology, which can be implemented using widely available software, incorporates the principles of project management in planning and control hospital inpatient care. It consists of four stages—clinical assessment, planning, scheduling, and tracking.

Overview of ProjectRounds and Example: As an example, a 68-year-old-man is admitted with pneumonia. In clinical assessment, the admitting physician uses an assessment tool that prompts her to list all the patient's clinical issues, define the conditions that need to be met to discharge the patient, highlight special problems, and list any consultations, diagnostic tests, and procedures that are planned. In planning, the work breakdown structure—a tabulation of all the tasks in the "project" (the admission)—is created. In scheduling, a project schedule is generated, and in tracking, the clinical team evaluates and monitors the project's course. During interdisciplinary clinical rounds, the progress of the patient's hospital care can be tracked and quantified by employing the percent complete method. Tracking can be used as a "dashboard," providing a concise summary of the care that needs to be and has been rendered to the patient.

Summary and Next Steps: Applying the tenets of project management can optimize the process of providing health care to hospital inpatients.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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