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PPC IV & V Practice Based Learning and Improvement Presentation Guide: Steps 2 & 3

Step 2: Obtain Background Information

  • Your question can be patient specific (foreground) or general (background)?
  • If patient specific- what is patient’s diagnosis?  Pertinent medical information? Demographic information?
  • A background question looks at a patient population. If could be about type 2 diabetics, osteoporosis in elderly women, etc.
    • If you choose a background question, consider if there are any exceptions to the intervention, contraindications to the medication, etc. 
  • Your answer to the question should be provided in two forms:
    • to a clinical faculty member, fellow medical team members
    • what you would tell the patient
      • should include less medical jargon

Step 3: Determine Ultimate Question

  • Most often the original question asked is NOT the most effective way of finding the answer needed/wanted.
  • If adequate background information is obtained, the ultimate question is usually formed
  • Once ultimate question is formed, confirm this with requestor (if possible) to avoid conflict with response.
  • Use PP-ICO to create your question!

P – patient/population

P - problem

I - intervention

C - comparison

O - outcome

An example of a clinical question for this scenario would be:

  • Does garlic (I) lower total cholesterol (O) in 50 year old Caucasian males (P) compared to placebo or standard of care(C)?

Example Slide

P 50-year old Caucasian males
P Hypercholesterolemia
I Garlic
C Placebo or standard of care
O Lower total cholesterol score

Clinical Question:

Does garlic (I) lower total cholesterol (O) in 50-year old Caucasian males (P) compared to placebo or standard of care(C)?