Primary Care Impact
QI Tips for Success
Successful QI and project work requires strong motivation. This includes a readiness to change, good teamwork and confident data management. See the topics below for ideas on how to make your QI and project work more successful, enjoyable and sustainable.
We often start our quality improvement activities with PLAN and DO, but we miss the most important step: the motivator. WHY are we doing this? What difference will it make?
The WHY is your team motive, the conditions that get your team engaged and keep them engaged when the first wave of enthusiasm wears off.
Ask these four questions:
What difference will it make to patients? What impact will it have on the people we are working with?
What difference will it make to clinicians? What is in it for the staff personally and professionally?
What difference will it make to the practice? What will be gained as a group, eg. more time, less duplication?
What difference will it make to the health system? Thinking more broadly about the impact on the region.
The Practice Incentive Program (PIP) Quality Improvement (QI) Incentive is another motivator to engage in QI. In order to qualify for the payment, practices must:
- Upload quarterly data on the PIP QI measures to Healthy North Coast.
- Engage with Healthy North Coast on quality improvement.
Activities coded orange are specially designed around the PIP QI measures, but any QI activity will assist you to meet your obligations. Click on the buttons at the bottom of each activity page to let us know your progress.
Readiness to make change is a shared state in which team members feel:
- Committed to implementing the change.
- Confident in their collective ability to succeed.
Some of the most promising organisational changes in health care delivery require collective, coordinated behaviour change from team members. Examples of this are electronic health records, chronic care models, quality improvement programs, and patient safety systems.
The Readiness Ruler can help you check in with the team on two dimensions of readiness to change. The ruler has two sides to help people evaluate:
- The importance of the changes.
- Their confidence about making those changes.
Before you set out, ask your team:
- How important is this to you?
- How confident are you that we will succeed?
Team work and quality improvement go hand in hand. The more the team gets involved and stays involved, the greater your chance of success. View Co-designing Team Based Care with Dr Tony Lembke (12:33 min) (scroll down when you reach the page) for an informative analysis of team based approaches to quality improvement in general practice.
Make team meetings and team approaches to QI effective
- Ensure everyone feels included and is encouraged to participate. New concepts will be adopted more readily if they are co-designed and inclusive to all team members.
- Celebrate creativity and fresh ideas.
- Dont overthink it, start small, keep the risk low.
- Champion team members who think outside the box and are willing to put their idea to the test.
- Keep meetings and huddles to time. Park items that go off on a tangent for ‘offline’ discussions.
- Optimise cloud-based team portals to encourage discussions and brainstorming. An example is Microsoft Teams, but there are many options.
- Keep track of actions and timelines.
Using your clinical information system to its maximum potential and growing skill and confidence in data management will make QI and project work efficient and effective.
Please visit RACGP’s Improving health record quality in general practice and the Compliance Checklist for Quality Health Records.
Efficient access to up-to-date clinical information will prove invaluable in many QI activities and projects.
Mid and North Coast HealthPathways is our region’s online clinical and referral information portal. It is designed for use during patient consultation and uses the latest evidence, technology, and local circumstances to guide patient care.
HealthPathways is primarily aimed at GPs, but can be used by nurses, specialists and allied health to support local patient healthcare management.
- Information on how to assess and manage medical conditions.
- Referral information and criteria for hospital ambulatory (outpatient) services, community and allied health services, and acute and non-acute care.
- Information for patients, reference materials, and educational resources.
Make sure your practice’s clinicians know about and have access to HealthPathways.