Vol. 11, No. 12
December 2009
PQ Systems
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Quality Quiz from Professor Cleary

"C" is correct.

Click here for a more complete video explanation

Data-based decisions about improvement involve breaking problem areas down into manageable parts, and affinity diagrams help to do this. They can stand alone, especially when generating new ideas that must be grouped; however, they are often used to feed a second tool to gain even more information. In the case of St. Marble and Glass Hospital, improvement can be based on data generated by brainstorming, organized with affinity diagrams, and analyzed with other tools such as those mentioned.

The next step for organizing the data generated in brainstorming is to organize it into groups of similar ideas, and then naming each group with a header that identifies the ideas in each group. The hospital group did this:

In the case of the problem of prolonged use of restraints, an improvement team might take one of the groups to begin the improvement process, and create a cause-and-effect diagram to get to the root cause of an issue. For example, using the group identified as “Staff training issues,” a cause-and-effect diagram might look like this:

From here, the improvement team can take steps to address each of the causes, thereby improving training as a first step toward better use of restraints throughout the hospital.

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