20 May 2022

QI coaches’ suggestions on using improvement in all we do

By Francisco Frasquilho, Head of Improvement Capability

For quality to flourish improvement needs to be set free and be open to everyone.

Our local QI Coaches, who provide an essential source of support for improvement, met in May 2022 for the Quarterly Coaching Catch-up. The main topic of discussion was about how to further support everyone to apply their improvement knowledge in broader activities as they interact with and deliver services. We adopted a version of Purpose to Practice (Liberating Structure) to explore embedding improvements in teams.

“What does embedding improvement in teams look like?”

Coaches shared that they’ve seen teams using improvement approaches to look at everyday issues. Trying to get a sense of what influences a concern? Use a driver diagram or fishbone. Want to try out something new but not sure of the outcome? Use a small-scale Plan Do Study Act Cycle on the hoof to test out small changes and get feedback around predictions. Want to see what activity looks like from everyone’s perceptive? Use a process map/flow diagram to see what steps and activities look like in a system. Being curious and asking those “Why?” and “How?” questions is the bread and butter of improvement; this gives everyone a voice in developing changes.

“Who can contribute to achieving our purpose [embedding improvement] and must be included?”

Improvement can’t happen in isolation. Our QI coaches recognised the importance of involving service users, senior leaders, managers, and themselves when looking at any improvement activity. Tap into all the experience and expertise together. Celebrate what works! Learn from what hasn’t turned out as we expected.

“What are we going to do? What will we offer and how will we do it?”

So many ideas and proposals came from the coaches, here are a few:

  • Use and role model using QI
  • Share stories and bring QI to life: give everyone a voice and celebrate use of improvement when you see it
  • Support connections between people, appreciate them, and help build confidence in the method
  • Support setting aims around work, “Smart before you start”
  • Use language that makes sense to teams
  • Link people up with similar interests

So, here’s the bottom line, let’s allow improvement to be owned by everyone. If you want to know more then why not speak with your local QI coach (find your local QI coach here), Improvement Advisor (find you local improvement advisor here), or email us at the QI team at elft.qi@nhs.net.

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