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Quality Improvement (QI)

‘Quality Improvement’ (QI) is used widely in healthcare and brings a methodical approach to address complex problems through focusing on outcomes and ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard to improve and redesign a service.

QI can be defined as the application of a systematic approach that uses specific techniques to improve quality. Although a range of approaches fit under this umbrella, they all have the following in common:

  • The concept of a cycle of improvement which involves problem definition and diagnosis, testing of change ideas, data collection and analysis, implementation and evaluation
  • A set of tools and techniques that support individuals to implement the improvements
  • Recognition of the importance of engaging stakeholders, including patients and carers
  • Recognition of the importance of culture and the need for clinical and managerial leadership.

Successful QI can change the culture of a system, whether the system is a single team, department, organisation or health system.