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Program Evaluation of the Fast Track Unit, Article Review Example

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Article Review

Introduction

The first article entitled “Fast Track: One Hospital’s Journey”, (2006), involved an explanation of the Fast Track program. The evaluation was taken over the course of twelve months. The second article detailing the evaluation program of Fast Track Unit based itself on the qualitative analysis of exploratory description and patient proffered satisfaction (Nash, Zachariah, Nitschmann, & Psencik, 2007). The purpose of the study was evaluate the developed fast track (FT) area in a University. The success of the programs was measured by three criteria: a reduction in the patient length of stay, reduction in Emergency Department overcrowding, and improvement of patient satisfaction. The methodfor garnering data evaluated 5995 patients who were seen in the ED fast track area. The average time in the ED was 4.36 hours, the average time in the FT was 1.97 hours (Ibid). Those who left without being seen were 7% of those patients who went to the main ED and only 4% of those who went to the fast track area. Finally, in the survey completed by patients in the FT unit, 100% found the service good or excellent (Ibid). The overall findings of the evaluation found that the FT program was effective in improving the Emergency care for patients.

Data Collection and Interpretation

Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis

The use of qualitative research and quantitative research methodologies will be employed for the purposes of this evaluation. After a comprehensive review of the specific attributes of qualitative research and of quantitative research, the evaluation team has decided that a combination of both methods would best surmise the overall impact of the Fast Track Unit of a University Emergency Department program. Qualitative research is primarily used when the investigation has a naturalistic, ethnic, anthropologic, or observational nature (OKState.edu, 2008).

Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework of this evaluation will be the Evidence-Based Practice model. This problem-oriented approach involves a summative analysis of the benefits derived from the implementation of the Fast Track Unit program.  The researchers conducting this evaluation will have their personal judgment  taken into account in the analysis of the data – (i.e. the subjective influence in qualitative analysis). The conjunction of data, knowledge, and critical assessment work to dissect multiple pieces of data and convert the numbers into usable knowledge. Through the use of first-hand and third-party observation, the Evidence-Based Practice model can allow various possibilities to be explored. For example, the hands-on  retrieval of survey information from Fast Track program participants offers a the most direct method of determining the program’s impact. The program ran its course over twelve months, and this evaluation will determine its  success as measured by declines in factors indicative of poor service.

The first-hand, qualitative analysis will be derived from the voluntary surveys conducted with participants who attended Fast Track Unit of the Emergency Department compared with those who went to the main Emergency Department. The third-party observation for the quantitative analysis will look at second-hand data – obtained from the university hospitals to determine an overall trend in the betterment of healthcare in the emergency department since the program’s implementation.

Ethical Considerations – Anonymity of Participant Responses

The survey participants will be assured of the confidential nature of this information acquisition. No full names will be given, and participants will issued a number as the sole means of identification. Due to the fact that the participants will be under the age of 18, the parents will also be informed of the anonymity to protect minors.

Disadvantages of Research Methodology

Disadvantages of Qualitative Research

Disadvantages to the use of qualitative data collection methods can be drawn most definitively by the comparison to its alternative research methodology: quantitative analysis. There are several fundamental differences between qualitative and quantitative analyses (UConn.edu, 2007). Qualitative studies are more focused on the researcher being the primary means of collecting data; this is disadvantageous when compared to the concrete legitimacy of empirical and statistical data which are the essence of quantitative analyses. Additionally, qualitative studies are not considered conclusive due to the subjective interpretive nature; as a result, qualitative studies are often considered ‘preliminary’ to the objective and unambiguous quantitative studies which follow to definitively show patterns and empirical data.

Another disadvantage to the use of qualitative research is the multiple conclusions that can be derived from the same set of data. This is due to the inductive nature of the results and their meaning. While quantitative analyses are derived from deductive observation of numerical data, qualitative analyses can be interpreted with the subjective mindset of the researcher. Qualitative analysis is more descriptive and thus open to various conclusions; this is disadvantageous to the unequivocal nature of empirical data sources.

Disadvantages of Quantitative Research

One disadvantage of quantitative research is the narrowed focus of the data obtained as well as the superficiality of the information – as evidenced by numerical representations, rather than the detailed analyses offered by qualitative analysis. Another disadvantage is the environment in which the data for a quantitative analysis is obtained; environments in quantitative studies are often simulations or artificial replicas of a real life situation. Qualitative studies, conversely, are held in the actual environment as the researcher travels to the site that is to be observed.

Any information pertaining to the specific ethnicity of the participant will be kept confidential. There will be no consideration given to race when evaluating the efficacy of this program. For the purposes of this study, information regarding race are unnecessary. All participants will be of the African American, Asian, Hispanic and Latina, Native American, White & Caucasian races but no they will not be separated in the results of the study. All girls will be grouped together to determine an overall efficaciousness of the study. Additionally, all information in this situation will be easily viewable in layman’s terms so that all participants will understand.

Parental Consent

Parental awareness is very important to this study because it involves girls who will primarily be under the age of eighteen. Anonymity is also of crucial importance in any study that involves the use of children in the derived data. A parental consent form will therefore be issued to gain the legal consent of child’s guardian before his or her information will be reviewed for this study. Along with the principle of informed consent, the parent will be issued a statement that explicitly informs him/her of what the study entails, why it is being conducted, as well as written assurance of their children’s medical information anonymity. The HIPPA requirement will also be issued as an additional assurance of the child’s maintenance of privacy.

Rule of Parsimony

The Person evaluating in any study should be subject to the rule of parsimony. Biases in any study should be avoided at all costs to preserve the integrity of the study being conducted.  This study will therefore be subject to the rule of parsimony, which means it will eliminate as many assumptions as possible while providing the simplest explanation for the efficacy of the Fast Track Unit.

References

“Module R: Quality Research”. Research Design in Occupational Education. (2008). Retrieved on August 22, 2010 from Okstate.edu:  http://www.okstate.edu/ag/agedcm4h/academic/aged5980a/5980/newpage21.htm

Nash, K., B. Zachariah, J. Nitschman, & B. Psencik. “Evaluation of the Fast Track Unit of a University Emergency Department”. Journal of Emergency Nursing. 2007: 33:1

“The Assumptions of Qualitative Designs”. Design Methods. 2002. Retrieved March 22, 2010 from UConn.edu:  http://www.gifted.uconn.edu/siegle/research/Qualitative/qualquan.htm

“Qualitative Research”. Research Models Knowledge Database. 2006. Retrieved on March 22, 2010 from  socialresearchmethods.net: http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/qual.php

“Qualitative Research and Generalizability Question”. Nova. 2006. Retrieved March 22, 2010 from Nova.edu:             http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR4-3/myers.html consent to participate in this survey/study: AIDS program  e.le body immediately after injection, 7 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours,

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