A story of success: continuous quality improvement in cystic fibrosis care in the USA

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Abstract

Background

Continuous quality improvement (CQI) in healthcare can be described as a reiterative approach to improving processes to reduce unexpected variation in health outcomes. CQI represents one model to achieve quality improvement (QI) and has long been recognized as a key to success in the manufacturing industry with companies like Toyota leading the way.

Objective

Healthcare, and specifically pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine represent ideal settings for the application of CQI.

Methods

This opinion piece will describe QI and CQI initiatives in the US Cystic fibrosis (CF) population.

Results

QI in CF care in the United States has been ongoing since inception of the US CF Foundation (CFF) in 1955. This effort has included work to improve the quality of clinical care provided at CF centers and work to improve clinical outcomes in CF. More recently, QI methods have been applied to the conduct of clinical research.

Conclusions

The CF community has become a leader in the area of QI and has pointed out the opportunities for others to follow in the area of lung diseases.

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