DNP Projects

Using the PDSA Framework to Improve Rates of Clinical Tool Use in Outpatient Oncology Palliative Care Clinics

Mallikaben Patel

Ashley Leak Bryant

Deborah K. Mayer

Gary Winzelberg

palliative care, symptom assessment, metastatic disease, PDSA model
CJON 2022, 26(5), 483-486. DOI: 10.1188/22.CJON.483-486

The literature indicates that patients with cancer receiving palliative care experience high symptom burden resulting from disease processes and treatment side effects. However, these symptoms may not be sufficiently or consistently screened in the outpatient oncology palliative care setting. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to implement consistent use of clinical assessment tools in outpatient palliative care clinics using the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) framework. This project determined the rate of completion of two clinical tools over 12 weeks among patients with cancer receiving palliative care.

At a Glance

  • To better understand patient needs in an outpatient palliative care setting, nurses can consistently assess symptoms and quality of life.
  • Using the PDSA framework for a quality improvement project supports an iterative process for improvement over multiple PDSA cycles.
  • As a strategy to identify barriers and challenges for a project early on, the PDSA framework enables adjustments so that project outcomes, such as completion rates, can improve over time.
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