Quality assurance programs in social work departments in Canadian hospitals

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In recent years, accountability in social work practice has become an issue meriting serious attention. Quality assurance programs constitute one strategy which is being utilized in medical social work to address questions of accountability. The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which such programs have been implemented in Canada, as well as to identify any organizational characteristics which may be associated with such programs. The study utilized the survey approach, and the data were analyzed by descriptive statistics. Cross-tabulation and correlational procedures identified probable relationships between and among the 85 variables of the study. One hundred and eighty-four respondents participated in the study. Quality assurance, as defined for this study, has three components: an explicit statement of standards, adjudication of those standards, and a change process whereby the discrepancies between practice and expectations can be rectified. The presence of a quality assurance program was indicated when all of the components were adequately represented. The findings indicated that 28 departments of social work in Canadian Hospitals (i.e., 15.2 per cent of respondents) have quality assurance programs. These quality assurance programs are most frequently found in medium size hospitals with large social work staffs. No regional trends were detected. Hospital Accreditation Standards were the most frequently cited factor as influential in the establishment of quality assurance programs, and quality assurance was widely perceived by respondents to be a useful strategy. Although social work staff size was strongly related to hospital size, certain inconsistencies were noted within this relationship. A number of questions were identified for further research, the foremost among which suggests that study be directed toward determining the effectiveness of quality assurance.
Bibliography: p. 103-107.
Workman, L. G. (1979). Quality assurance programs in social work departments in Canadian hospitals (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/11681