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Integrating Practices' Change Processes into Improving Quality of Depression Care

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Abstract:

Background: Primary care practices would benefit from improved understanding of how to make and sustain fundamental changes in their delivery systems. An improvement collaborative project was conducted in 2005 to not only improve the quality of depression care but help participating practices adopt and adapt more effective change processes to implement improved depression care. In a follow-up to an article on the project's impact in terms of measurable, sustained improvements in depression care, an exploratory qualitative study was conducted to examine primary care practices' adoption of effective change processes.

Methods: Qualitative data were collected from 16 primary care practices participating in the National Depression Management Leadership Initiative's Improving Depression Care project. A multistep process of qualitative analysis was used to identify exemplar practices, and a constant comparative method was applied to identify salient features that influenced adoption of change processes associated with improvements in depression care during the course of the 18-month project.

Results: The participating practices showed considerable variability in terms of the improvements they made in depression care and corresponding adoption of change processes to help make these and other improvements. Nearly all practices that showed the greatest improvements in depression care also adopted more effective processes for change, with several features associated with exemplar practices able to improve depression care and change processes.

Discussion: These findings support the thesis that successful quality improvement efforts should address both clinical content and change processes. They also add to the literature on the impact of improvement collaborative projects, which to date have demonstrated mixed effects in a variety of chronic diseases, including depression.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-07-01

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  • The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety will be published by Elsevier beginning in 2017! For readers who receive access to the journal through their institutions, the journal can now be found on ScienceDirect (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/15537250). For librarians looking to subscribe to the journal for their institutions please contact your Elsevier Account Manager or visit www.myelsevier.com for more information. All other readers, please visit http://www.jointcommissionjournal.com/ to subscribe to the journal or to claim your access for an existing subscription.
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