CLOSING the Gap: Establishing A Women's Preventive Health Care Visit
Barbara A. Persons, RN, DNP, WHNP-BC; Michelle Teschendorf, PhD, MSN, RN
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Purpose: Trends in women’s access to primary care and gynecological services across the age spectrum has been inconsistent and lacking in preventive focus. This project investigates the use of regular patient questionnaires and its effectiveness in identifying possible and/or potential women’s healthcare problems. Project results provide quality improvement for providers and for preventive health care.
Summary: A retrospective chart review was conducted regarding female patients seen at a family medical practice for 12 weeks to see if the new process was sustainable. Prior to the project launch the office staff/providers were instructed on the project’s purpose, the improved questionnaires, and how the chart review would be graded. The improved questionnaires focused on past medical history, family member medical history, and identifying patient’s pregnancy history of gestational diabetes and hypertension. The “Project Checklist” incorporating gradable criteria was used for the electronic chart review. There were measurement variables of provider evaluation for screenings, questionnaires, and exams.
Outcomes: After 12 weeks and 166 chart reviews the average grade was 90% out of 100%. Trends were watched each week beginning with 66% during week 1 and improvement progressed over time thanks to continuous interaction with staff post each chart review. No staff member or provider was singled out as being non-compliant, therefore, the project was a total team effort to make the questionnaire and exam criteria improvements sustainable at 95% for the last three weeks of the project. A follow-up two-day chart review was accomplished 2 weeks post project which showed the new process was maintained.
Implications: Improving and sustaining women’s preventive healthcare “patient information” by updating questionnaires each office visit will make a difference. Assessment and evaluation approaches for wellness and problems can improve health outcomes. Identifying significant histories can improve care. Maternal mortality and cardiac issues in the w female population is in the news lately. These are major issues which validate the project’s purpose.
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