8 July 2015

Improving patient experience in Tower Hamlets SAU

Improving patients experience

This month we caught up with Wiktor Kulik from Tower Hamlets Specialist Addictions Team to find out about their QI project aimed at improving patient experience in tower hamlets SAU.

How did you identify the improvement idea for your project?

TH SAU helps people struggling with complex addiction, often with comorbid mental health problems and other complexities. This group is particularly difficult to engage.

Attendance at appointments is directly related to clinical and other outcomes and depends a great deal on patient’s experience of the service.

The start of the project also coincided with an appointment of a new peer support worker, who was ideally placed to help with this kind of work.

Did you identify any barriers to your project? If so how did you overcome them?

The typical barrier is finding time and will for the additional effort required to improve quality. Asking busy teams to add yet another activity to already a long list of requirements.

What helps on the trust level- QI team is so actively promoting the ideas and the board is fully supportive of this approach. What helps on a team level is to try and design data collection and change ideas to be as simple and effortless as possible. If the change idea can reduce the workload – even better. my advice would be to try and use as much as possible the data that is already collected.

Another thing that helps engage teams is sharing the data, especially if it shows an improvement

What are your early results and latest data showing us?

The early results were really promising – number of people attending peer support led groups increased as did the satisfaction. Since then it is a bit more challenging to improve this even further.

Staff satisfaction fluctuated due to the wider system changes and uncertainty over the teams future.

Has the QI training helped you run your project?

QI training brings a variety of lessons. What and how to measure – the need for baseline data and when a change is an improvement.

But the best element of it was watching other projects develop and borrowing ideas from others.

Finally, how would you sum up your personal learning experience of QI and its benefits.

Learning improvement methodology and leading the projects has been an amazing experience. I try and use simplified methods in my personal life and am sure it will benefit my future patients as well.

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