Prior to the on-site visit, factual information on the quality improvement programs was gathered from the literature review, stakeholder discussions and Maryland state web site. Information on the following aspects of the programs was gathered and organized in a table:
- Program title including a regulatory reference, if applicable;
- Program description;
- Agency contact--the person(s) most knowledgeable about the program protocols and implementation to date;
- Impetus--what prompted the development of the program;
- Designer--identify the individual(s) or group(s) responsible for program design and indicate agency affiliation(s);
- Goals--state the program objectives;
- Funding Source and Amount--state current funding amounts/sources and projections for future periods;
- Program Staff--indicate how many individuals are involved in the program implementation including administrative support, what is the organizational structure;
- Facility Involvement--is this a requirement for all facilities or a voluntary program, how are facilities selected for inclusion, if voluntary?
- Dates--what are the program beginning and end dates;
- Evaluation--indicate current and planned formal evaluation program(s).
The table was forwarded to Carol Benner prior to the on-site visit for her to review and provide any additional or corrected information. The research team used the factual information in the table as a starting point to develop discussion guides that focused on more in-depth issues. Letters of endorsement explaining the project goals, state selection and planned discussions were formulated and sent to prospective discussants. Follow-up phone calls were made to arrange for convenient dates and times for in-person meetings.