Characteristics of Quality Improvement Champions in Nursing Homes: A Systematic Review With Implications for Evidence-Based Practice
Improving care quality while reducing cost has always been a focus of nursing homes. Certified nursing assistants comprise the largest proportion of the workforce in nursing homes and have the potential to contribute to the quality of care provided. Quality improvement (QI) initiatives using certified nursing assistants as champions have the potential to improve job satisfaction, which has been associated with care quality.Aims
To identify the role, use and preparation of champions in a nursing home setting as a way of informing future QI strategies in nursing homes.Methods
A systematic literature review. Medical Subject Headings and text words for “quality improvement” were combined with those for “champion*” to search Medline, CINAHL, Joanna Briggs Institute, MedLine In-Process, and other Nonindexed Citations. After duplicates were removed, a total of 337 potential articles were identified for further review. After full text review, seven articles from five original studies met inclusion criteria and were included in the synthesis.Results
Various types of QI initiatives and implementation strategies were used together with champions. Champions were identified by study authors as one of the single most effective strategies employed in all studies. The majority of studies described the champion role as that of a leader, who fosters and reinforces changes for improvement. Although all the included studies suggested that implementing nurse or aid champions in their QI initiatives were important facilitators of success, how the champions were selected and trained in their role is either missing or not described in any detail in the studies included in the review.Linking Evidence to Action
Utilizing certified nursing assistants as QI champions can increase participation in QI projects and has the potential to improve job satisfaction and contribute to improve quality of care and improved patient outcomes in nursing homes.