Quality improvement in hospice: Adding a big job to an already big job?
Hospice organizations are adopting quality measurement and quality improvement (QI) practices to comply with the Medicare Conditions of Participation effective January 31, 2009. However, little is known about organizational best practices or specific needs during implementation. This study identified and described the barriers and facilitators to QI implementation in hospice. Using semistructured interviews with a national sample of key informants (n = 52) concerning facilitators and barriers to QI in hospice, 4 major themes emerged from the data regarding participants’ experiences and perceptions: (1) external factors constrain QI implementation; (2) internal factors limit capacity for QI; (3) research on best practices is limited; and (4) traditional QI may not be a good fit for hospice. Though challenging, participants provided recommendations that they believed would facilitate QI in hospice. Categorizing barriers and facilitators as within or outside an organization’s control may help organizations assess their capabilities and locate resources to address areas for improvement.