Welcome to the West of England Academy’s facilitator’s guide to quality improvement. This guide is designed to help you facilitate improvement sessions with your teams.
- Our QI workbook which guides you from understanding the challenge to creating a poster at the end of your project.
- Learn at your own pace with our on-demand replays of sections of our QI Autumn Series 2021, and a bonus session on how to collect and present data.
- Access our free library of Quality Improvement resources. These will help you carry out and sustain changes that enhance patient safety and improvements in your area of work/innovation.
- Our practical guide to making a QI poster for submission to conferences includes top tips from a submissions judge, answers to your most common questions, templates and advice on imagery and infographics. Read our QI poster guide.
Stage 1: Understand the challenge
It is important to take the time to fully understand the problem you are trying to solve. Complete 5 Whys, stakeholder mapping and process mapping. If you skip this stage, you might waste time making a solution that doesn’t solve your issue. Use the templates in the QI workbook to record your project work.
Quality improvement tool: 5 Whys
5 Whys is a simple tool to help you start to identify the root cause of a problem. Use the 5 Whys PowerPoint slides to help facilitate this as a team activity. For more detail on this tool, please visit the West of England Academy QI Toolkit.
Quality improvement tool: Stakeholder mapping
Stakeholders are everyone involved, interested in and benefiting from your project work. Understanding and engaging with your stakeholders is crucial to the success of your project as they can be champions of your work or create barriers.
Quality improvement tool: Process mapping
Process mapping can be used to demonstrate the:
- Current way of working to identify areas for improvement, for example where the same activity is repeated unnecessarily or where there is a ‘bottle neck’.
- A new ‘improved’ process, for example you can map what the process would look like if you changed it in some way.
Use the process mapping PowerPoint slides to help facilitate this as a team activity, watch this how-to video for tips on facilitating a process mapping session. For more detail on the tool, please visit the West of England Academy QI Toolkit.
Quality improvement tool: SMART Target
A SMART target will help everyone involved in your project understand and agree what your objective is, it doesn’t leave any room for confusion or misunderstanding. Using a SMART target will help define the scope of your project and make your project measurable.
Stage 2: Measuring the impact
To ensure the changes you are making are improving the situation, you will need to collect some data. If you have evidence that your QI project has worked then you will be more likely to secure funding to sustain the changes. The data doesn’t need to be complicated, keep it simple and easy to collect.
Remember to “seek usefulness, not perfection, in the measurement” (Nelson et al, 1998).
Use the sources of data collection, operational definitions and outcome, process and balancing measures PowerPoint slides to help facilitate these activities with your team. For more details on these activities, please visit the West of England Academy QI Toolkit. Use the templates in the QI workbook to record your project work.
Stage 3: Create and select change ideas
Don’t jump to the obvious ideas to test, take some time with your team to think creatively about ways to reach your project objective. Use the templates in the QI workbook to record your ideas.
Quality improvement tool: Greenhousing
Greenhousing techniques can be used to create the ideal conditions for sharing and developing new ideas. When new ideas are shared, they can be fragile and need growing and developing in a safe space.
Use the greenhousing PowerPoint slides to help facilitate these activities with your team. watch this how-to video for tips on facilitating a creative session. For more details on these activities, please visit the West of England Academy QI Toolkit.
Quality improvement tool: TRIZ
Use TRIZ, a Liberating Structure, with greenhousing techniques to help your team be creative.
Stage 4: Planning the improvement project
It is important to take the time to plan your improvement project, this allows you to consider the impact of your project – and it’s helpful having documentation to share with people who are interested in your work. Planning can be a relatively quick exercise as a lot of the elements will already be thought through. Use the templates in the QI workbook to record your plan.
Quality improvement tool: Driver diagram
A driver diagram is used to plan and map out your improvement project, it is beneficial to see your project on one page and to understand how your change ideas connect to your project objective. Work with the project multi-disciplinary team to complete the driver diagram template in the QI workbook.
Quality improvement tool: Communications plan
Knowing who your stakeholders are and including them in your project work is crucial for the success of your QI project. You will want to keep them updated/involved/engaged as the project progresses. Use this simple communications plan to map out your key messages and how you will share these with your different stakeholder groups. Creating a ‘brand’ for your project can help get people involved and excited about your work.
Stage 5: Test change ideas
A Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycle is the recommended model for testing changes from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The PDSA cycle guides you to make safe changes and facilitates a ‘test and learn’ approach. Use the QI workbook to record your PDSA cycles.
Quality improvement tool: PDSA Cycles
Why not take a look at our free range of West of England Academy improvement and innovation guides, toolkits and videos.
We also host a wide range of free West of England Academy events and training opportunities.
If you would like guidance on the use of these resources or have suggestions, questions or want to discuss your project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org