DQI TOOLBOX 1·0
- The Multidisciplinary Audit Software
Successfully piloted in general health
care settings throughout Britain, DQI TOOLBOX
is the first audit package developed by multidisciplinary practitioners
to provide a dynamic approach to quality improvement. DQI TOOLBOX
provides a comprehensive and fully searchable database for the development
of standards; facilities for printed output of each stage of the quality
improvement cycle and a fast and easy-to-use framework for entering audit
data and drawing research-based conclusions. DQI TOOLBOX
includes all the software you need to create Standards and Audit Forms,
to collect and analyse observational data, and to create Summaries and
Action Plans, all on one database.
The audit cycle
Once an area for quality improvement has been
identified, the next stage is to develop an audit tool to measure and compare
practice with the agreed standard (see the DQI TOOLBOXaudit
form below). This is drawn up, using the standard form from
the first stage of the audit cycle. In developing the audit tool from the
standard form, it is useful to consider four key questions: What, How,
When and Who? In the second column of the audit form, specify
what methods you will use to collect related data. When collecting audit
data, you use the data record on DQI TOOLBOX.
Responses are then entered for the audit criteria specified on the audit
form, using the agreed methods of data collection within the defined
target groups. If the auditor has access to a lap-top or notebook computer,
this information may be fed directly into the system. Otherwise, the auditor
may record data onto hard copies of the data record, and then input the
responses at a later date.
Comparing the actual with the expected
level of compliance allows the auditor to see at a glance areas where achievement
of the standard is good, or areas where it is less than expected. This
forms the basis for preparing the audit summary, the next stage
in the audit process. Having compared the expected to actual compliance
scores, the auditor uses the audit summary to record the key audit findings.
Here, the auditor notes the particular issue or criterion studied, the
findings of the audit in terms of the level of compliance, plus any comments
which may help to explain the findings.
By now any key areas where the previously
agreed level of compliance has not been reached have been identified. There
are a number of key steps to take to complete the action plan, the final
form in DQI TOOLBOX: agreeing appropriate courses
of action in respect of the problems identified; agreeing a named person
responsible for the action; deciding the timescale for action; re-audit
Above is a sample Audit Form which
can be output using DQI TOOLBOX. Output quality
will depend on the type of printer selected, but you will find that DQI
is compatible with any printer currently available. This clearly demonstrates
the flexibility of this software package as the cornerstone of the audit
Fully annotated audit forms are essential
if the audit cycle is
to be effective. Clear parameters such
as dates, samples and
those conducting the audit may all
be kept in one place,
marking an easily-accessible but permanent
record of the
standards established and maintained
- a critical element in
The focus for the audit,
e.g. patient, nurse,
environment, family, or
any client group
The various procedures
in conducting audit will
be entered here, e.g.
Here, each question asked by the
audit will be noted and
stored with the corresponding target,
method and code,
providing clear evidence of the thoroughness
of the current
audit and acting as a vital reference
for future audits
conducted in this area. You will then
have a library of
information to draw from in continuously
quality of the service you provide.
386, 486, PentiumTM or AlphaTM
processor, with DOS operating system
(MS-DOSTM Version 3·1 or above or equivalent) or IBM
OS/2 WarpTM. DQI TOOLBOX is designed
to work on any hard-disk IBM-compatible microcomputer from a 386 to the
latest fully-extended PentiumTM, with monochrome or colour displays.
If your computer has features such as expanded memory or a co-processor
chip, the software will use them as appropriate. The faster the speed,
the better (e.g. 33-50 MHz). The software is also designed to work
over a local area network, either to share files and/or printers or while
running on a central server, in which case it will support up to 256 concurrent
sessions. Files created using the present version of DQI TOOLBOX
will be upgradable to future releases.
Hard disk, preferably at least 40Mb.
With a desktop machine, one should choose at least 80-100 Mb. A shared
departmental machine may need more memory.
3 Mb or more of extended memory, if
the processor is a 386 or above. 0·5 Mb or so of the memory can
be used as a hard disk cache. We do not recommend choosing a computer without
at least this amount of available memory.
VGA or SVGA display. (S)VGA displays
can be colour or monochrome. Some of the liquid crystal displays used in
lap-tops are not very good and it is worth having a look at them before
finally choosing a particular model.
High-density diskette drive(s). The
3·5 inch diskette size is gradually taking over from 5·25
inch; drives for both sizes are available in both high- and low-density
versions, but a high-density drive can read both high- and low-density
diskettes whereas a low-density drive can not.
AT-style keyboard, if possible. Some
compact lap-tops inevitably have rather cramped keyboards - the arrow,
page and function keys tend to fit in obscure places and using them can
be fiddly. Some models lack certain keys (e.g. page keys), which
can be a nuisance.
Mouse or built-in tracker ball. DQI
has full capability for control using either the keyboard or a mouse. Users'
preferences vary; but most agree that a mouse or similar device is very
desirable for at least some operations and is strongly recommended. You
can communicate with DQI TOOLBOX using a mouse
or the keyboard, whichever you prefer. You tell the software what to do
by selecting items from the menu system. More specific information is communicated
via screen boxes, lists, pop-ups, screen 'push buttons' and so forth.
Printer. A good dot-matrix type would
do, although a bubble-jet or laser printer is better. Ideally, select a
PostScriptTM-compatible model if possible, although DQI TOOLBOX
has built-in support for a very wide range of non-PostScriptTM
What will I get?
The DQI TOOLBOX
Operating Manual will provide you with full support in loading the system.
The software will run both on a network and on a single-user basis and
can run concurrently with Windows if required. The network versions of
TOOLBOX will enable users from all departments
within a hospital/unit setting to access information held on the central
server. Should you require it, several layers of security may be built
into the system, facilitating differentiated or limited/restricted access
to appointed users. The DQI TOOLBOX Dongle,
the capacity of which will be determined by the stated number of users
is plugged into the parallel port of your computer. Without it, the software
will run in Demonstration Mode only.
DQI TOOLBOX Operating
DQI TOOLBOX Tutorial
DQI TOOLBOX Dongle
DQI TOOLBOX Program
DQI TOOLBOX Software
What if I need help?
The Manual, with Installation and Operating
Instructions, is divided into two parts: Before you Begin and Using
TOOLBOX. There is a comprehensive Index, and
Appendices cover some special topics. An Introduction briefly describes
the features of DQI TOOLBOX and where to locate
Accompanying this is the DQI TOOLBOX
Tutorial which guides you through each of the stages involved in implementing
the system: writing and implementing a standard, developing an audit tool,
collecting audit data, collating audit data, summarising audit data and
implementing action plans for quality improvement. There is also a section
on how to sustain quality improvements, including a consideration of recommended
organisational structures for quality. For those new to DySSSy, the tutorial
provides details of further sources of information and training on the
At any time, you can activate the Help
system and obtain information about the current activity, together with
cross-indexed information about other related activities. The contents
of Help are structured to enable the user to become rapidly 'self-sufficient'
with DQI TOOLBOX. If you still have a question
about the software, details of the DQI TOOLBOX
Helpline can be found in the Manual.
For information about ordering your copy:
Download the Demo Version!
You can download and install the Demo Version
of DQI TOOLBOX now. It is compressed into the
self-extracting program file DQIZIP.EXE:
After downloading the file, it can be decompressed
at the DOS prompt. Please note that the -d
'switch' is necessary so that the correct directory structure can be set
up on your hard disk: this consists of an application directory \DQI containing
the files DQI.EXE and DQI_N.WBF, together with a subdirectory \DQI\DATA
containing a couple of demo. data files.
When the package has been decompressed,
it can be run by typing
at the DOS prompt; the password is RCN.
Built-in context-sensitive Help can be obtained by pressing the F1 key.
[Link here to 'Frequently-Asked
[Link here to news of
TOOLBOX Version 2 for Windows]
[End of document, updated to 6 February