Common terms and what they mean (useful for exams/interviews):
- Quality improvement
- The term ‘quality improvement’ refers to the systematic use of methods and tools to try to continuously improve quality of care and outcomes for patients.
- Clinical audit is a way to find out if healthcare is being provided in line with standards and lets care providers and patients know where their service is doing well, and where there could be improvements.
What is QI and where is it heading?
- The King’s Fund has written a great article on quality improvement and the big picture for the NHS.
- The Health Foundation has also published a report on QI and the big picture for healthcare professionals.
How do I learn more?
- The King’s Fund’s quality improvement page is excellent with blog posts, podcasts, videos, and reports on quality improvement (their overall website is brilliant too and worth checking out).
- The National Institute of Academic Anaesthesia is home to all the major anaesthetic audits and research projects in the UK including the NAP audits.
- The Institute of Healthcare Improvement based in the USA has a section of their website freely accessible with downloadable materials and useful ways to think about QI with examples. Some hospital trusts can sponsor trainees/consultants to undertake their e-learning modules.
- Another great American resource is The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
- The Deming institute website has a lot of interesting resources for management enthusiasts, including the PDSA cycle and other management tips.
- The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership does a lot of work with national audits and service development.
- The NHS Improvement website has useful guidelines and discussion forums you might be interested in.
- King’s College Improvement Science hub has a number of useful resources for QI.