Hello, 

We are Be The Change UCL. It’s nice to meet you

 What is quality improvement and why is it necessary?

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Every patient deserves the highest quality of healthcare; care which is safe, timely, efficient, equitable and effective.

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According to the office of national statistics, in 2016, approximately 24% of all the deaths in the UK were considered avoidable in the presence of timely and effective healthcare.

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This figure is unacceptable in the light of the significant developments in medical science and evidence based medicine.

The delivery of healthcare relies upon the functioning of the complex systems and, as such, achieving quality can be challenging. This challenge is only set to increase the NHS experiences diminishing resources and increased patient demand. Therefore, we need robust strategies able to maintain and improve healthcare in a rapidly changing, complex and strained medical environment.

The solution….. Quality improvement! 

Quality improvement methodology stems from research in improvement science, which has involved adopting strategies from other industries such as aviation and manufacturing. The process involves PDSA cycles, which implements change and measures the effect in a dynamic way:

  • Do: Implement the change and collect data as you go

  • Act: either continue your good work, or implement further changes and modifications

  • Plan: Create a smart (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-focused) goal, plan what change you will implement to achieve that goal, and decide what data you will collect to monitor progress

  • Study: Analyse the data you have collected and assess if you have achieved your goal/what modifications are needed in order to achieve your goal

What is the difference between quality improvement and research?

Quality Improvement (QI) projects use evidence-based medicine in an innovative way, changing practice in small specific measurable and simple ways. Medical innovation and change is typically very slow. The way in which QI projects run means that they are fast and sensitive to the ongoing collection of data. So changes can be seen in real-time and implemented quickly.

 The result! :  Changes which are innovative, and make a real difference to health care quality, are implemented in a timely and sustainable manner

I want to learn  more 

A number of organizations identify the need to adopt quality improvement. Follow the links below to find out more.

Furthermore, if you are a health care student and would like to develop our skills in quality improvement, there are courses available for free from IHI open school.

  •  https://improvement.nhs.uk

  • https://www.health.org.uk

  • https://www.bmj.com/quality-improvement https://bmjopenquality.bmj.com

  • https://qualitysafety.bmj.com

  • https://www.fmlm.ac.uk

  • http://www.ihi.org

  • http://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/our-programmes/quality-improvement.aspx

  • https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/standards-and-research/support-for-surgeons-and-services/qualityimprovement-in-surgery/

  • https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/rcp-quality-improvement-rcpqi