Embedding a culture of quality improvement

Published: 9th November 2017

This report published by the King’s Fund explores the factors that have helped organisations to launch a quality improvement strategy, and the key enablers for sustaining a focus on continuous quality improvement.

Download Embedding a culture of quality improvement

The report draws on a roundtable event, semi-structured interviews with senior NHS leaders and stakeholders involved in quality improvement initiatives, and a literature review. It identifies relevant learning from organisations that have already adopted quality improvement approaches, and focuses on how senior leaders can create the right conditions for quality improvement to emerge and flourish. The report suggests that leaders need to engage with staff, empower frontline teams to develop solutions, and ensure that there is an appropriate infrastructure in place to support staff and spread learning.

The report identifies three common themes for successfully launching a quality improvement strategy:

  1. having a clear rationale
  2. ensuring staff are ready for change, and
  3. understanding the implications for the organisation’s leadership team in terms of style and role.

The impact of quality improvement work is oteen greatest when it forms part of a coherent, organisation-wide approach, as opposed to discrete, time-limited projects (Dixon-Woods and Martin 2016). The report focuses on examples where there have been sustained attempts to embed a culture of quality improvement across a whole NHS provider organisation.

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