Quality Assurance & Continuous Quality Improvement

Research and practice have repeatedly demonstrated that effective tools and practices fall far short of their potential when sufficient quality assurance techniques are not put in place. An agency that provides adequate preparation of, and training to, staff and successfully implements proper procedures on the improved practice will often find over time that the intended practice is either performed inconsistently or not in accordance with the trained procedures. This outcome can be mitigated through the establishment of intentional and structured quality checks designed to reinforce desired practices and expose and redirect practices that are out of alignment with the desired behavior.

Quality assurance (QA) is a process that retrospectively examines practices for the purposes of identifying and correcting divergence from policy or protocol. It is both necessary and invaluable; however, absent a continuous quality improvement (CQI) component, it can create the undesired effect of staff masking deficiencies and/or working toward gaining acceptable scores (i.e., compliance) rather than mastering important skills.

CQI is an approach that is built upon a partnership between the person engaged in the use of the professional skills and the individual conducting the CQI process. Each party is mutually seeking to learn and grow the organization and the individual, and achieve incremental improvements toward the attainment of a more effective outcome.

The Carey Group’s Partners and Associates can assist agencies in:

  • Determining QA and CQI needs
  • Identifying QA and CQI priorities
  • Developing a QA and/or CQI plan
  • Providing QA and CQI tools and training on their use
  • Providing training to managers and others on QA and CQI purposes, principles, and strategies
  • Assisting CQI staff in effective coaching techniques and strategies