Description of the Capstone Project
. This culminating experience requires students to apply knowledge and skills obtained throughout their graduate studies to identify and analyze quality improvement initiatives in healthcare. Students will complete a project that demonstrates their ability to independently conduct research, thoughtfully evaluate data, synthesize information and present important findings. Students successfully completing the project will be armed with quality improvement knowledge and skills that will serve them, their employers, and their patients well when they enter the workforce.
The capstone project unfolds over the course of several semesters and is designed to build upon graduate coursework in the didactic year students will work independently to identify a specific healthcare quality improvement initiative, well-supported by evidence-based medicine, aimed at improving the effectiveness and reliability of health processes and outcomes. With guidance from faculty mentors as well as their own comprehensive analysis of key research supporting the identified quality improvement initiative, students will design a robust survey tool to assess whether providers in the medical community are implementing the recommended quality improvement measure(s) as well as identify barriers to such implementation, if applicable. The capstone project will culminate with a graded written paper that effectively summarizes research and survey results as well as an oral presentation delivered to peers and the faculty.
Capstone projects will be developed by students, with ongoing feedback from capstone mentors, and will include:
Guidelines for Preparation of Written Capstone Paper
The following guidelines will assist in the preparation of the Capstone paper. In addition, it is recommended that each student acquire a copy of the APA manual, 6th edition to use as reference.
The Literature Review
All projects should be of interest to PA professionals and be based on relevant medical literature from peer-reviewed journals. A minimum of 10 references that are current (less than 5 years old) are required. Many papers will require additional references for completeness. Older articles may be used but must be relevant to current practice standards.
PubMed contains citations on biomedical literature. If full text access of a journal article is not available, please contact the main library to obtain an interlibrary loan of the article. See Appendix D for more information on conducting a search on PubMed. Additional resources include: Cochrane Reviews and Google Scholar.
Avoid the use of non-refereed journals and lay publications. Up-to-Date, WebMD, eMedicine or the like are not acceptable references for this project.
Your literature review should be broad enough for a clear understanding of the disease state; however, the main focus of your review and of the capstone project in general is the quality improvement initiative designed to improve the effectiveness and reliability of health processes and outcomes pertinent to the disease state. The literature review should include evidence supporting the quality improvement initiative, the potential benefits of the initiative being implemented as well as any barriers to implementation.
Order of Final Paper
The main body of the final paper should be no less than 12 pages. Follow APA guidelines: 12pt Times New Roman font, double spaced. (See Appendix A for additional information).
heading words (see below). It does not include the project title. The abstract should be structured and include Purpose (include description of the QI initiative and its relevance), Methods (include literature search and survey methodology), Results (include summation of findings) and Conclusions (include well-supported conclusions and any recommendations regarding implementation of QI initiative).
words, rather than direct quotations as much as possible. Be aware of plagiarism!
(referenced appropriately in the paper and properly cited in the appendix)