Ability to demonstrate a continuous commitment to improve patient care
What is it?
Quality improvement is being willing and able to reflect on experiences that inform shortcomings and how to progress. It is striving for goals and welcoming feedback from others to improve patient care.
Why is it important?
In this day and age of increasingly new knowledge and practices, valuing and striving for improvement is integral for success. There are many healthcare providers and patients are searching for physicians that are able to meet their needs. In addition, making quality improvement part of the job can morale because both staff and patients see that barriers to care they face each day are being addressed. Physicians play a significant part, ranging from improving hand washing hygiene to reducing ventilator-associated pneumonia, etc.
Discuss Shortcomings and Failures
One of the best ways to improve patient care is to learn from failures. Creating a culture where people discuss their failures instead of trying to hide them is crucial. Blame free reporting systems helps analyze breakdowns and learn from them to improve the system. Regular after action reviews where team members are encouraged to discuss what worked, what didn’t work, and what can we do differently can be a great help.
Create a Vision and Expectation for Quality
Leaders need to be the standard bearers of their professional communities. They need to be willing to stand up and say “This is not good enough. We can do better.” The must also have a clear vision of what “better” will look like with specific measurable goals. Then they can collect data to measure performance and monitor improvement.
Get Regular Feedback
One of the best ways to improve patient care is to get regular and systematic feedback from patients. Formal and informal feedback should guild clinical practice and standard operating experiences. Exit interviews, follow up phone calls, and conversations with patient’s families can be rich sources of ongoing data. Don’t wait for your institution to do this. Take a few hours each month to collect this data on your own. Make a plan to collect patient feedback and execute it.