HCA 321: Continuous Quality Improvement in HCA

Course Description

In the context of the transition to value-based care, this course is intended to provide a basic interdisciplinary perspective on quality management which includes measuring and improving quality and heavily engages the patient. This approach to quality management examines the unique tools and processes fundamental to Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), the human resources that fuels the processes and the critical role of health information technology.


  • HCA 101: Health Care Systems Administration
  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Examine the underlying philosophy of Total Quality Management (TQM) and CQI with its structural elements, its healthcare-associated elements, and the context within which these elements must function.
  2. Describe the basic underlying tools and approaches to TQM/CQI and the fundamentals of measurement and statistical analysis applied in CQI efforts.
  3. Discuss the specific application of CQI to a variety of health service settings including primary care, public health departments, hospitals, academic medical centers and long-term care organizations.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of CQI through case studies and related research.
  5. Explain how quality is an integral part of value-based purchasing.
  6. Analyze the challenges to quality measurement under a population health program.

Course Activities and Grading


Discussion Questions (Weeks 1-8)


Research Paper Due (Week 7)


Research Paper Presentation (Week 7)




Required Textbooks

Available through Charter Oak State College's Book Bundle

  • Sollecito, W.A. and J.K. Johnson. McLaughlin and Kaluzny’s Continuous Quality Improvement in Health Care. 5th ed. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett, 2020. ISBN-13: 978-1-284-12659-4

Course Schedule



Readings and Exercises




Topics: Introduction to CQI and Measurement

  • Chapter 1: The Global Evolution of Continuous Quality
  • Chapter 2: Factors Influencing the Application and Diffusion of CQI in Health Care
  • Chapter 4: Understanding Variation, Tools and Data Sources for CQI in Health Care
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Thread 1: What are the distinguishing characteristics and functions of CQI?
  • Thread 2: What is the value of the PDSA Cycle?



Topic: The Role of Teams and the Role of the Patient in CQI


  • Chapter 7: CQI, The Role of the Patient in Continuous Quality Improvement
  • Chapter 6: Understanding and Improving Team Effectiveness
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Thread 1: Discuss the measurement of quality through patient satisfaction.
  • Thread 2: What are the advantages and disadvantages of CQI teams?



Topics: Risk and Implementation

  • Chapter 9: Assessing Risk and Harm in the Clinical Microsystem
  • Chapter 10: Classification and Reduction of Medical Errors
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Thread 1: Why is risk adjustment an important consideration in measuring outcomes?
  • Thread 2: Discuss two ways that medical errors can be reduced.
  • Submit title of research paper by Friday to the instructor



Topic: Popular Trends in CQI


  • Chapter 3: Integrating Implementation Science Approaches into CQI
  • Chapter 5: Lean and Six Sigma Management: Building a Foundation for Optimal Patient Care Using Patient Flow Physics
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Thread 1: How are quality of care outcomes and implementation outcomes linked?
  • Thread 2: Compare Lean Six Sigma and the Lean Management System.



Topic: CQI in Public Health

  • Chapter 11: Continuous Quality Improvement in U.S. Public Health Organizations
  • Chapter 13: Quality Improvement in Low and Middle-Income Countries
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Thread 1: Discuss how CQI can be improved in public health organizations.
  • Thread 2: Define Population Health Management.



Topic: Accreditation

  • Chapter 12: Accreditation: A Global Regulatory Mechanism to Promote Quality and Safety
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Thread 1: What are three key issues currently under-researched in healthcare
  • Thread 2: What is the role of the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program and Det Norske Veritas Healthcare Inc.?



Topic: Social Marketing

  • Chapter 8: A Social Marketing Approach to Increase Adoption of CQI Initiatives
  • Review previous readings
  • Thread 1: What are the implications of social marketing in healthcare?
  • Thread 2: Research and summarize a current social marketing initiative. In your opinion, has the program been effective?
  • Submit Research Paper to instructor and discussion forum by Friday



Topic: Future Trends in CQI


  • Chapter 14: Future Trends and Challenges for CQI in Health Care
  • Thread 1: Why do CQI professionals need to be concerned with future trends?
  • Thread 2: Tell the class about what you learned from your research paper. This is time for you to shine and teach the class.

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.