Our Continuous Quality Improvement (QI) Approach

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is an approach to how we can make changes to the work we do to improve timeliness, safety, efficiency, effectiveness, equity or service user focus. It is a structured and systematic way of thinking and behaving that supports you to make improvements – small or large – happen. 

Making Continuous Quality Improvements doesn't need to be complicated or time consuming, but it does require you to be curious about the work you do, open to the possibility that there is a better way to do something and ready to rapidly test out ideas, learning as you go.

We have adopted the Model for Improvement (see picture) as our overarching framework for Continuous Quality Improvement. It is a simple framework that is easy to understand, can be used as a structure for all types of improvement and supports the use of any tool or technique that is helpful for your improvement project.




Alongside the Model for Improvement we have created some simple principles to further guide and direct how we ‘do’ improvement:

 HPFT Continuous Quality Improvement Principles

  • Understanding before solutions
  • Improvement must be measurable
  • Use data and information to inform improvement
  • Take small steps towards a clear destination
  • Experiment and learn - embrace ‘failure’ as part of the process
  • Your solution must not be someone else’s problem
  • Share and spread your learning and successes


We are advocating this model and the principles to help us move from where we are today to our desired future state, through the uncertainty of how we might get there and the obstacles that are in our path. 

We promote taking many small steps and experimenting with possible solutions to overcome obstacles, using the PDSA technique to do that.


Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA)

The core element of the model is the rapid testing of solutions, using PLAN / DO / STUDY / ACT (PDSA) cycles. This is another simple (but powerful) technique for that guides you though developing, testing, learning and adjusting solutions to problems:

PLAN - identify what you think will happen when you make a change

DO - implement the change

STUDY - observe and measure what happens

ACT - make adjustments to your solution based on observations and learning

In the Starting a Project and Knowledge Centre sections of the site you will find more detail about the Model for Improvement and PDSA and how to use them.

So, whatever the perspective you have on a problem, you can use the Model for Improvement, our Continuous Quality Improvement Principles and PDSA to structure how you think and act to deliver improvements incrementally and iteratively.