Quality Improvement - taking the plunge and getting started

Quality Improvement - taking the plunge and getting started

A few people have been asking me recently about quality improvement (QI) resources. I’ve written before about how impenetrable it can be to get ‘in’ to QI, what with all the jargon that comes with it and it can be difficult to know the best place to start.  The best way to tackle this I think is to take the plunge and have a go at whatever opportunities present to you.  There is significant overlap between models and resources which isn’t a bad thing.  As you become more confident exploring them and get to grips with the concepts you’ll build your own understanding of some of the key ingredients that make quality improvement happen.

As adult learners we often get the best understanding through doing.  So find yourself a problem (I’m sure you won’t be short of these), get hold of some resources and have a go at sorting it out.  To get you started I’ve set out here some stuff you can have a play about with.

The Improvement Directory hosted by NHS Improvement gives you a list of websites that ‘provide online improvement tools, resources or networks on health and social care.’  A good page to browse through if you want an overview of what is out there.

The Institute of Healthcare Improvement is a world recognised leader in quality improvement in healthcare based in the United States.  They have a ton of information on their website.  Their ‘How to Improve’ pages guide you through their model of improvement so you can think how it might apply to you and your work.  They’ve also got a cool Improvement App that you can have on you smart phone so you can carry your improvement methods with you.

It’s also worthwhile checking out Qulturum the ‘Center for Learning and Innovation in Healthcare’ based in Jönköping Sweden.  They have years of experience in healthcare improvement and are absolutely on my list of places to visit!

That should be enough to be going on with.  The best learning is shared learning so whatever you get out of being involved in QI, make sure you share with others.  Happy Improving!

Billy Boland

Associate Medical Director for Quality & Safety and Consultant Psychiatrist