Our Thoughts on Quality Improvement in Healthcare

Our Thoughts on Quality Improvement in Healthcare

We have been delivering practical and fun Quality Improvement (QI) training to NHS leaders in managerial, clinical and medical leadership roles for the past three years. Some via the Empowering Leaders programme for Dorset HealthCare (running since August 2014), others via study days in general practice and dental practice too. In fact, we’d go as far as saying it has been an embedded feature of all of leadership development over the years. This is because we feel that leadership is a vital component to the success of sustained quality improvement initiatives.

Let’s face it, we all know that money for our public services is being stretched ever more thinly. This brings the need for quality improvement rapidly into sharper focus. Healthcare is very wasteful and inefficient, Don Berwick President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement has a concise summary here (4:35).

We liken the task of modern healthcare as providing Saville Row suits on Primark money. Not an easy task. But not, in our opinion at least, impossible either. Leaders need to see, believe and embrace the benefits of quality improvement then lead that message continuously across the entire scope of their role all day every day. And leaders need to ensure that they themselves, and those they lead have the necessary skills to make sound judgements about which improvements to make, then design, measure and analyse and improve.

Useful links to Quality Improvement (QI) tools and techniques

Health Foundation – Improvement projects, tools and resources

Institute for Health Improvement – 

Care Quality Commission (CQC) – Driving Improvement Recent Case Studies

NICE – Imprvement Leaders Literature Search

NHS Improvement – Building a quality improvement (QI) system across a whole organisation (Short news article from Dr Amar Shah)

NHS Improvement – Improvement Hub

Royal College of General Practitioners – Quality Improvement for General Practice A guide for GPs and the whole practice team

QI books we like and recommend

Black Box Thinking – Matthew Syed (2015)

Wilful Blindness – Margaret Heffernan (2012)

Start with Why – Simon Sinek (2011)

Intelligent Kindness Reforming the Culture of Healthcare – Ballatt and Campling (2011)

The Improvement Guide Practical Approach to Enhancing Organizational Performance-  Langley and Moen (2009)

Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook Rowlands and Maxey (2005)

If Disney Ran Your Hospital – Lee (2004)