- Consider the overall scope of the project, realizing that it should fit into the timeframe of the practicum, be feasible, and be something for which you have the power to facilitate change.
- Remember that in order to secure support, most organizations will want validation that a project is worthwhile and necessary. Toward that end, be sure to identify the potential value added to the organization through the project:
- Improved health outcomes for patients
- Improved compliance with regulatory guidelines
- Improved fiscal outcomes (the financial bottom line)
- Improved health care delivery methods or practices (to enhance quality, safety, or best practices)
- Review current scholarly literature and professional publications regarding the problem to make sure you have a clear understanding of the facts, relevant health policy compliance, and evidence-based practice.
- Obtain feedback and insights from key leaders and experts within the organization, and within the field, as you identify a problem to address.
Make the Connection
Here are a few examples that may serve as a springboard for additional ideas. As always, remember that the scope of your project and available timeframe must be considered as you identify a problem or opportunity for improvement:
- Reduce 30-day readmission rates as mandated by the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (through the ACA)
- Improve compliance with National Patient Safety Goals (or other standards of care)
- Improve HCHAPS scores
- Reduce rates of infection
- Increase compliance with core measure indicators (or other standards of care)
- Reduce the patient safety risks
- Implement nurse peer-review program in your agency (just one example of performance improvement)
- Coordinate transition to patient bedside reporting (just one example to enhance communication)
- Initiate patient navigation of CHF patients to improve health outcomes and decrease readmissions