Introduction to Quality Improvement in Healthcare

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  • Healthcare Quality and Quality Improvement
    • In this module you will learn what is meant by quality in healthcare and why quality improvement is needed, and gain a high level appreciation for some important approaches to quality improvement. You will hear from a patient perspective about the implications of poor quality healthcare, and see some evidence of the global scale of the problem. You will learn about a well-studied example of a quality improvement initiative, the Michigan Keystone project. In addition, you will participate in activities to enable you to reflect on your own knowledge and experience of quality, and quality improvement, in health and care systems.
  • Engaging and Empowering Stakeholders with a Shared Vision
    • In this second module of the course you will be introduced to stakeholder engagement and empowerment including the importance of community, patient and public involvement. You will engage with lived experiences of service users and communities working together with clinicians and academics to improve health and healthcare. You will learn about the importance of good leadership and building a shared vision, and how to practically develop a programme theory for improvement through the Action Effect method.
  • Healthcare Processes: Mapping and Implementing Changes
    • This third module provides an introduction to process mapping and the Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycle as tools to support QI in practice. These methods are core in many approaches to improvement, used to understand and then improve processes of care. You will hear from experts in the field about their use of these methods, and their experiences leading quality improvement in practice, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. You will learn about challenges they encountered and strategies they used to overcome them.
  • Long Term Success and the Importance of Context
    • In this fourth module you will consider issues relating to the long term success of improvement initiatives – what influences whether improvement is sustained once achieved? You will apply an evidence-based tool promoting long term success to example QI initiatives. The context in which an improvement initiative takes place has a significant impact on both implementation and outcomes. Considering two contrasting case studies, one set in rural Guatemala and one in the USA, you will learn how to identify different elements of context and their interaction. In the later part of the module you will learn about common challenges and obstacles that QI teams face when designing and implementing their QI projects, including the role of fidelity in the application of quality improvement methods.

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