Identifying Practice Gaps for Quality Improvement What should be happening in practice? What is happening or observed in practice? These two questions help to identify where quality improvement practice gaps might exist in nursing practice. If we know what should be happening does not coincide with what is happening, we know there is an issue, or more appropriately, a practice gap. A practice gap is the difference between a desirable or achievable state of practice and current reality. For example, a common gap in practice in healthcare organizations today, are healthcare associated infections (HAIs), such as central line associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs), or catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). The ongoing identification of practice gaps is critical to quality improvement and involves identifying the current state, comparing that current state to the desired state, identifying the causes of the gaps in practice, and validating those gaps to develop a process for improvement. For this paper, reflect on quality improvement practice gaps that may exist in your practice or organization. Consider what quality improvement methods and/or tools might be useful in improving this practice gap. Then, think about how you might address these challenges and what strategies you might implement as a future DNP-prepared nurse. To Prepare: • Review Resources on tools and methods for quality improvement. • Reflect on a potential quality improvement practice gap, you have seen in your practice or organization, which you might consider using for your DNP project. • Consider the tools and methods you might use to address this quality improvement practice gap. Write a brief explanation of how you would identify a quality improvement practice gap in your practice or organization. Describe a potential quality improvement practice gap you might use for your DNP project, and explain why. Then, explain at least two types of tools and/or methods you might use to address this quality improvement practice gap, and explain why. Be specific and provide examples.
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