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 »

Feb 202014
Paul Gimson

Paul Gimson

Imagine what a primary care service might look like if we gave the patients the money and asked them to design it themselves. This was the story I heard recently at a presentation given by the Southcentral Foundation, a citizen-owned health-service provider based in Anchorage, Alaska.

The presentation was at a recent event in Cardiff looking at Southcentral Foundation’s Nuka system of primary care. It’s ‘A customer-owner driven overhaul of a bureaucratic system centrally controlled, to one in which the local people are in control.’ It is the use of this term customer-owner which is one of the most striking features of the Nuka system.

The idea of a patient as a customer might feel wrong in the context of the NHS, but in this case the term represented a shift from a service designed around a medical model to one where the patient’s needs were put first. The provocative question for us is, if we considered patients as customers would that improve the experience of being a patient in NHS Wales? Continue reading »

Feb 032014
Dr Alan Willson

Dr Alan Willson

Trying to understand how we improve is not as complicated as you may think at first.

There are basically two ways of doing it. One is through radical changes, large-scale change efforts that often deliver great results, but require a lot of effort.

The other is through small, almost imperceptible, incremental changes, which build up one on top of each other, shaping the system gradually into a very different shape.

But what if we combined the two? Continue reading »

Jan 072014
Mike Davidge

Mike Davidge

Research suggests that as little as 8% of people are successful in their New Year’s Resolutions. So how can you be the one in twelve that do?  The trick is to phrase your resolution an as achievable target, with a clear aim.

For example, which of these is most likely to get results?

1. I’m going to lose some weight

2. I’m going to lose 6 pounds by March Continue reading »

Jan 012014
Dr Alan Willson

Dr Alan Willson

Happy New Year! And welcome to #IQT2014. New Year’s Resolutions are often about small changes that make a big difference. That’s why we’re dedicating the first two weeks of 2014 to Improving Quality Together, to encourage NHS Wales staff to put “Make a start on IQT Bronze” on their New Year’s Resolutions list.

Improving Quality Together is the national learning programme for all NHS Wales staff and contractors. It provides a common language and consistent approach to improving the quality of services in NHS organisations across Wales.

Over 3,500 individuals completed IQT in 2013 – and if you haven’t taken part yet, over the next two weeks, we’ll be showing you the benefits IQT Bronze can make for you, your workload, and, most importantly, your patients. Continue reading »