Statistical Process Improvement
Georgetown University

Case Study

Using real data, you are asked to compare the performance of one hospital on several quality measures so that a patient with a particular illness could decide whether they should go to the hospital.  In particular you are asked to do the following:

  1. Select a hospital to analyze and an individual within the hospital to receive your report. Usually this person is a medical director or Chief of Quality. Obtain their email by searching on the web in sites such as Linked In (r). The instructors Linked In site can be useful to you as there are many individuals who are in the instructor's contact list.  If the person is not on the instructor's contact list, ask him to add the person.  Then obtain his email from the instructor.  If you cannot find the exact email, guess it by comparing it to emails that you do find for someone else in the organization.
    • Vivian-Jo Yu on finding a preceptor Slides►
    • Letter of introduction from the instructor to your preceptor.  Copy the  instructor in your email. Draft Email►
  2. Choose the type of patients you want to focus on.  Choose at least 5 quality measures that are appropriate for a patient with a particular illness. Choose these indicators so that you can create a cohesive picture of the quality for a patient with a particular illness. The quality indicators are listed in the web site on Hospital Compare. Select the hospital peer organizations (at least 3).  These are sometimes local competitors and other times national competitors.  Make sure your selection makes sense, in terms of hospital size and market reach.   
  3. Download real data for your selected hospital.  Download the data for the hospital's peer group. Data► How to Download►
  4. Examine hospital's performance. Create appropriate control charts for each quality indicators.  In control charts, set the control limits using data from hospital's peer group.
  5. Prepare a narrated report posted to the web.  See instructions below on how to do so. Your grade is not affected if your preceptor does not respond to the emails.
    • Send your report by an email from the instructor to the preceptor. Copy the instructor in your email.  Draft Email 3►
  6. Email your report to the entire class
    • Comment on the web on 3 case studies done by your peer that have no comments posted to them. Comment on both accuracy of analysis and presentation of the findings. In leaving a comment, discuss both what worked well and what needs improvement.  Compare the work you are evaluating to your own work.  Say, for example, "Compared to my work, this case study is better because ...".  Enter your comments in Blackboard under assignments as well.      


  • Learn how to analyze performance of an organization on multiple indicators
  • Decide on selection of the right control chart for your data
  • Create control charts for a variety of different types of data
  • Compare performance of an organization to its competitors
  • Use your work to get noticed by organizations that might hire you or provide you with a practicum project.

Case Study Report

Prepare a presentation that includes the following slides:

  1. Title slide  (includes hospital name, your name, date of analysis, and reference to the course). 
  2. Source of data
    • Rationale for selecting the measures (this should make logical sense)
    • List of measures and data available on each measure
  3. Limitations of data (use a separate slide for each limitation)
  4. Rationale for selection of hospital competitors
    • List of hospital competitors
  5. Control chart for indicator 1 
  6. Add to the chart interpretation of the data
  7. Control chart for indicator 2 
  8. Add to the chart interpretation of the data
  9. Control chart for indicator 3 
  10. Add to the chart interpretation of the data
  11. Control chart for indicator 4 
  12. Add to the chart interpretation of the data
  13. Control chart for indicator 5 
  14. Add to the chart interpretation of the data
  15. Summary of Findings (do not over interpret)

Narrate the slides in one sitting.  After you narrate the slides, reduce the text so no more than 7 words are on the slide. Narrate the slides using Microsoft PowerPoint narration feature. Make the chart as large as possible, taking the entire slide space.  Circle points that are outside the control limits.  Occasional variations in narrations is OK.  Save your narration as a movie.  Upload your narration.  Share the URL of your uploaded narrated slides with  instructor and other students through Blackboard.  Do not send the slides or the narration.  Send only the URL.  If you do not want to post your work publicly, you can take all the steps and post privately or ask for other options. Here are some videos and sites that can be helpful in carrying out this case study.


See many examples of case studies done by other students in the past. More►

Case Study Evaluation

Evaluations of your project are based on comments left by students, faculty, and contact person on your work.  Students are expected to leave comments on at least 3 presentations. In leaving a comment, please address both the presentation and the accuracy/quality of the work.  Your grade is not affected by lack of response from your sponsor. 

This page is part of the course on Statistical Process Control. Most recent revision 10/11/21.