“Everybody in healthcare has two jobs: to do your work and to improve it.” Dr Paul Batalden, senior fellow, Institute of Healthcare Improvement
We all come to work wanting to deliver a high quality service to our patients that is safe, that is effective, and that is tailored to individual needs. However, we provide care in complex systems that are not perfect: there is always room to improve.
Often this can be difficult however as people can be wedded to ‘the way we’ve always done it’ even if we know there is a better way.
We need a systematic approach to make these improvements, working together to come up with creative ideas, testing small changes, learning from them and moving forward until we see improvement in the things that matter.
There are a number of methodologies that use applied science to do this. Sometimes we will not get the results we want straight away but it is OK to fail and move on and this can generate some of our best learning.
People who work in the system (you!) have the best knowledge of that system and often identify the best and most creative solutions.
Put this together with expertise in how to apply QI methodology and things can get better faster. This is what we are trying to do at WLMHT.
For example, staff at Broadmoor Hospital have been working together to reduce long-term segregation using these techniques, with excellent results.
Don Berwick, founding CEO of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, said that the NHS should become “more than ever before, a system devoted to continual learning and improvement of patient care, top to bottom and end to end.”
West London Mental Health Trust QI developments… in the past few years as a trust we have been beginning to establish and support the use of QI approach to support on-going developments and improvement’s to the care and services we deliver.
As part of this development the trust has been leading and supporting staff to complete QSIR training enabling 40 teams to learn the theory of QI whilst being supported by QI mentors to implement this knowledge in a project within their team / setting. In the coming months we will also be starting some different training opportunities including 1 day introduction to QI – watch out for the dates!
Over the coming months and 18/19 we are going to be working to develop further our QI approach and programme, engaging with staff and patients to understand their observations, ideas and feedback as we write the WLHT QI strategy. Please look out for details of locally based workshops to contribute and support this as we build forward towards embedding a QI and learning for improvement approach across WLHT.