Prospective versus Retrospective Data Collection Techniques

You are the administrator for cardiovascular services and you have been asked by Alice Silvestry, the Director of Quality Management, to provide input into a quality improvement project involving your area. Of particular interest is the data collection process and whether data should be obtained on a prospective or retrospective basis. Your facility already collects and reports an enormous amount of data for other quality initiatives and you are a bit concerned about the resources required to pursue yet another project.

Prepare a brief report detailing your concerns about the data collection process in general and the prospective versus retrospective collection technique in particular. You have recently read several articles on the topic (see the links above) and you were struck by the comments made in the section titled “Methodological Challenges in Quantifying Healthcare Quality” in the Circulation journal article. You also found the section on “The Six Challenges of Today’s Performance Measurement Data Collection and Reporting Environment” on page 7 of the AHRQ document very informative.

Based on your readings, write a report that includes the following:

Identify at least three issues that are important considerations when beginning any type of data collection activity.
Identify at least two strengths and at least two weaknesses of using a prospective data collection technique.
Identify at least two strengths and at least two weaknesses of using a retrospective data collection technique.
Provide a recommendation on whether to use a prospective or retrospective data collection process and rationale for your recommendation.

Sample Solution