Why does quality improvement matter?
It is crucial to understand why quality improvement is important in healthcare because of the vital role it plays in all aspects of service provision. From improved patient outcomes and satisfaction, to increased efficiency and compliance with regulations, quality improvement in healthcare benefits everyone involved.
By implementing a quality improvement strategy, providers are able to assess performance and quantify organisational processes and structure. Whilst the vast majority of healthcare staff and managers are well intentioned people with good values, things can and do go wrong. Healthcare is a highly regulated environment with quality measures and a safeguarding framework which aims to protect vulnerable adults, but which can sometimes feel punitive. Navigating your way through the inevitable challenges that face any organisation providing services is tricky.
Sometimes, the priorities and pressures make it difficult to see the wood for the trees and an outside perspective can be really helpful. In addition, in an environment where commissioners sometimes assume a lack of openness and transparency on the part of providers, it can be highly beneficial to be able to say that a completely independent investigation has been carried out to measure quality, and its findings shared.
Verita has operated for almost 20 years carrying out the most rigorous and thorough investigations, consultancy and complaints work for charities, business and other organisations. Verita is best known for its work in quality improvement in healthcare and has carried out high profile investigations and consultancy assignments for the government, regulators, commissioners and providers.
5 reasons why quality improvement is important in healthcare
- Improved patient outcomes: By implementing quality improvement initiatives, healthcare organisations can improve the quality of care and achieve better patient outcomes. This can reduce healthcare costs and improve the overall health of patients.
- Increased patient satisfaction: Quality improvement measures that focus on patient-centred care can increase patient satisfaction and improve their overall experience with the healthcare system.
- Increased efficiency: By focusing on quality improvement, healthcare organisations can identify and eliminate wasteful practices, streamline processes, and increase efficiency. This can lead to cost savings and better resource utilisation.
- Better communication: Quality improvement initiatives often involve the implementation of standardised communication protocols, leading to improved communication between healthcare providers and patients. This can improve the accuracy and effectiveness of care delivery.
- Compliance with regulations and standards: Quality improvement is essential for healthcare organisations to comply with regulations and standards set by accrediting bodies. This ensures that healthcare organisations are providing care that meets or exceeds minimum standards of quality and safety.
Understanding why quality improvement is important in healthcare organisations allows measurement and improvement of service provision, as well as learn lessons and hopefully spot early warning signs so that problems can be prevented before they happen. In the learning disability sector, the best indicators of a service that’s in trouble are high sickness, high turnover and low training compliance.
If you can implement quality measures and spot the problem early it’s not too difficult to fix; all too often it isn’t spotted until it’s too late, for example when CQC turn up and give the service a bad rating. The message to all is to self-reflect, what does your clinical governance really look like? Which quality improvement structures does your healthcare organisation have in place?
At Verita, we have a long and successful history of working with healthcare organisations to make improvements through investigation, training, and development throughout both the NHS and the private sector.
We also provide a patient safety incident investigation training course which gives organisations the information needed to carry out an investigation into a range of incidents including safety breaches, complaints and capability concerns.
If you would like to learn more about why quality improvement is important in healthcare then please book a free consultation or contact Ed Marsden on 020 7494 5670 or [email protected].