Quality improvement is a critical factor in all levels of healthcare and plays an important part in the provision of service. The onus of quality improvement in health is now the responsibility of all health care providers and not just those in the Quality departments of our organisations. However, unless we measure what we do, and the outcomes of our care, it will be difficult to know exactly what needs to improve and what impact our improvements have had over time. Efforts to improve systems or processes must be driven by reliable data.
Data not only allows us to accurately identify problems, but it also assists us in prioritising quality improvement initiatives and enables objective assessment of whether change and improvement have indeed occurred after the change. Data helps us to understand, focus and improve our service by allowing us to compare our performance, either against known standards or against our own prior results. Collecting and analysing data are therefore critical to the function of quality improvement in any health service.
The above guide demonstrates the fundamentals of using your data for quality improvement. The concepts are logical and simple and should apply to any practice.
The NADC hopes that the above guideline will aid the development of quality improvement initiatives that can be reflected in your organisation’s future results and patient outcomes.
“If we always do what we have always done, then we will always get what we have always got”