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Practicing Health Care Professional Meeting and Project Approval Guide Purpose of the Meeting The purpose of this meeting is to: • Explain your role as an undergraduate learner offering a project as a part of your degree completion requirement at Capella University. Note: Remember that you are an ambassador for Capella University. Your professional appearance, behavior, and preparation should reflect positively on the organization. • Explain your proposed health care problem analysis project and the course requirements to the health care professional. • Redefine your performance indicators and outcome measures, as needed. • Negotiate potential changes to the project that will enhance its value to an organization, while meeting the capstone course requirements. • Obtain the health care professional’s approval for your health care problem analysis proposal. Schedule the Meeting After identifying your first choice for a point of contact in the organization, you need to contact that person and schedule a meeting. The meeting can take place in person, via web conference, or over the phone. Be prepared to contact a second person if you are unable to meet your first choice. Note: Face-to-face interaction is essential for developing a strong professional network. An inperson meeting is strongly encouraged. However, if you are unable to meet with the client in person, consider hosting an online meeting to increase the level of engagement in the call. Initiate Contact You are encouraged to use the following sample talking points to initiate contact with the health care organization: My name is [insert your name]. I am a learner in the health care administration undergraduate program at Capella University. I am currently enrolled in the capstone course, in which learners help a health care organization examine a real-world issue or problem. The topic must be one in which I can examine the existing information or data, either from a practicing health care professional or perhaps the data that has already been collected. Potential examples include patient satisfaction surveys, compliance with a new regulation, patient safety initiatives, or evaluating process deviations for a new service line offering or system, such as admitting home care patients onto the service. 1 I am offering to volunteer my services to draft a project proposal, complete a data review, and provide recommendations on how to address the issue. These recommendations will include insights from current peer-reviewed health care journals. Would you be willing to work with me on a project that examines data on [insert topic here; for example, compliance with the new hospice reimbursement system]? This would involve meeting with me for 15–20 minutes to provide feedback on how I would examine and organize the data. Then I would review the data, review the relevant, authoritative literature, and provide a project report, with my findings, at the end of the course. Would this be helpful, and if so, may I contact you via e-mail to send a copy of the draft proposal after my faculty member has approved it? Thanks so much for your time, [Your name] Health Care Professional Background and Communication Preferences Consider the following questions before you meet with the selected health care professional: • Have you thoroughly researched the organization’s website and the health care professional’s background? Have you obtained any other information necessary to provide perspective on the organization’s potential needs? • Is the health care professional’s organization currently undergoing any major change that might have an impact on your proposed project? • Does the health care professional prefer to meet with you over the phone, via web conference or chat room, in person, or via another modality? • What time or setting is ideal for the health care professional? Present Your Project Proposal At the meeting, present the project proposal you developed in Assessment 1, and explain your role as a undergraduate learner offering a health care problem analysis project as a part of your degree completion requirement at Capella University. • Explain your proposed project and the course requirements, clarifying the project scope, execution, and focus. Explain that you are seeking the health care professional’s approval to review the existing data. Answer any questions. • Describe briefly what type of data you will be examining, what performance indicators you will be examining, and how you are proposing to measure each indicator. In addition, explain how you will visually display your summarized data (for example, as a pie chart, graph, spreadsheet, and process map). • Provide evidence-based support for the assertions and conclusions you make. • Communicate to your client any statistical or other software that may be needed for the data analysis. • Articulate the value of your proposed project. Explain how you will measure the outcomes for each of the four areas of the balanced scorecard. 2 Refine Your Project Proposal After presenting your proposal, request feedback from the health care professional on the scope and feasibility of your project. In addition, attempt to identify examples of evidence-based support for selected key performance indicators, determine whether you can gain access to additional related data sets, and verify the accessibility of data sets that could be made available for you to review. The meeting is an opportunity to work with the health care professional to redefine the performance indicators and outcome measures that you propose to examine. It is also an opportunity to make changes that will be of mutual benefit and enhance the project’s outcome. Before approving your health care problem analysis proposal, the health care professional may have a few suggestions to enhance your data analysis, such as adding a performance indicator, using a specific benchmark, or using an existing assessment tool. This individual may also want to add something to your project for inclusion in the final report or may want you to spend more time on the project than is allotted. In such instances, you must negotiate a solution that meets the course requirements and your health care professional’s needs. It is your job to verify, discover, or redefine your performance indicators and outcome measures so you can proceed to your data review. Consequently, you may wish to initiate a preliminary discussion with your health care professional on the following points: • Units of service. • Types of units applicable to your project. • Selection of units. • Output performance measures: o Scope definition. o Service completion. o Client outcomes. • Quality dimensions. • Four types of outcome measures and rationale for your selected measures. • Process for selecting outcome measures, such as stakeholder input and assessment. • Use of standardized measures. • Use of performance measurement information. During the meeting, you may discover the following: • You have chosen the wrong indicators for your problem statement. • The indicators are not included in the organization’s data sets. • The health care professional thinks that different indicators might be more helpful. • Limited data on a performance indicator exists. • Incomplete entries or lack of consistent coding of data exists. • Mismatched data sets exist from which you have to generate a meaningful summary. 3 Obtain Project Approval Agree to submit a revised project proposal, which integrates the health care professional’s feedback and any negotiated changes, before you end the meeting. Try to obtain a commitment from this individual to sign and return the approved proposal so that you may proceed with the data review. Submit the revised proposal to the health care professional for final approval. Ensure that this individual signs the revised copy of your proposal. Meeting Follow-Up Although it is not required, you may choose to follow up with your health care professional via email or phone after completing the assessment. This would be an ideal time to extend your thanks for reviewing your initial proposal. You may offer to e-mail the health care professional a draft of the project report that you will complete in the next assessment. Upon receiving the report, this individual has the option to review the type and purpose of the data you are analyzing, how you will organize it, and how the data will be presented in the final report. Even though the course does not require you to receive feedback from the health care professional about your completed report, the person you interview is the professional audience your data review project is intended to serve. This person is very likely going to be interested in seeing your complete report and could serve as an informal editor of your deliverable for this course. 4
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