5 December 2014

We all know what good quality is, don’t we? Or do we all have very different ideas about what quality really is?

kevin-cleary

by Kevin Cleary, Medical Director and Director for Quality and Performance.

As part of a development programme for nurse leaders I have been teaching a module on quality. To get people thinking about this I list 10 different companies e.g. Apple, Starbucks, Ryanair and get participants to discuss which of them provide good quality and which do not. Almost always there is a consensus about the good, the mediocre and the poor service providers. It is much more difficult in healthcare to rank providers, at the moment and one of the reasons for this is very few trusts have a coherent, integrated approach to quality improvement (QI). We don’t want to be part of the herd; we want to be different.

If you want to be better then you have to know how to improve; that requires new skills and thinking. We want our staff to have the tools and knowledge to make high quality care part of what we deliver every day; not something we talk about once a month at the quality committee. We have partnered with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to provide us with direction and to help train hundreds of our staff and other partners in quality improvement. It is six months since the first wave of training started and we have two more waves planned for 2015. This means that in 18 months we will have trained over 400 staff in the Improvement Science in Action programme. These staff will be local leaders in the quality improvement projects which will reduce harm every year and provide the right care, at the right place, at the right time.

Each Trust Directorate has monthly QI Forums, use these along with the Working Together Groups to share ideas, thoughts and plans. We don’t want to be Ryanair do we?

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