Oct 312014

Educators in Improvement 2014

This September I was fortunate to attend the National Learning event on Educators in Improvement in Cardiff.

I was looking forward to meeting other students and health care professionals from around Wales who shared the same interest as me in quality improvement and healthcare.

I particularly enjoyed the talk given by Angela Williams – a lecturer from Bangor University. Angela provided an insight into how to do your own improvement project by sharing with us her own project she had undertaken, regarding the use of a certain system which was used by both students and staff at her university. Angela went on to explain her aims, how she planned to measure her progress, how data was collected and the barriers she encountered. It stood out to me as she also talked about the mistakes made, such as familiarising oneself with the use of run charts and how she learnt from these said mistakes. This showed me the importance of starting small and learning as you go along. Prior to attending the event I completed the Bronze Award in Quality Improvement and I was able to link the theory such as the models used in Angela’s project from doing the module. Angela ended her talk with one simple message that ‘It’s not what you do but it is the way in which you do it’, I felt encouraged listening to Angela.

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Mar 032014

A member of our student community, Ilaria Pignatelli, is the Campaign Manager for Ask One Question. She tells us about their simple pledge for NHS Change Day.

Ilaria Pignatelli

Ilaria Pignatelli

We ask a lot of questions through medical school. History taking and skills practice bring up some valid questions, but are we always asking the right ones?

The thought of visiting hospital can be a scary and unpleasant experience for many patients, so after asking all the routine questions; why not ask: “What can I do to improve your stay?”

The Ask One Question campaign is doing just that. It’s a world-wide, student-led healthcare improvement initiative, encouraging students to ask their patients: “What can I do to improve your stay?” and, when possible, act on their requests. It was started by students in Cardiff who have already gained recognition outside of Wales.1, 2 Continue reading »

Feb 252014

Marc Franklin reflects on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s National Forum in Florida, and thinks about some of the lessons he left with.

Joshua Kovoor, Dr Andy Carson-Stevens, Marc Franklin, Don Berwick, Gney Mehta, Amy Butlin, Hope Ward, and Beth McIldowie at the IHI Open School Congress

Above: Joshua Kovoor, Dr Andy Carson-Stevens, Marc Franklin, Don Berwick, Gney Mehta, Amy Butlin, Hope Ward, and Beth McIldowie at the IHI Open School Congress

Just before Christmas, along with  five other members of the 1000 Lives Student and Educator Community and the Cardiff Medics Student-Patient Chapter, I headed for Orlando, Florida to attend the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 25th Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Healthcare. We boarded the plane excited to join over 5000 other delegates, and join the discussion on patient safety and quality improvement.

We began by attending the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School Chapter Congress, along with many of the Forum’s other student delegates from universities around the world. Don Berwick (President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the IHI), who led the Congress, emphasised the importance of students approaching healthcare systems with “fresh eyes”, and the significance of students’ position as the future of healthcare.

We were then set the modest task of saving the NHS £1 billion! We worked together to put forward a suggestion for quality improvement – our idea was  moving away from the use of non-essential sterile swabs when cannulating a patient, toward the use of cheaper, non-sterile swabs. This was an idea which had the potential to make real savings, and it shows that a small change has the possibility of making a big impact. Continue reading »