The foundation in quality improvement work is to work systematically, what works and what does not, progressively changing the plan until it’s perfect. Initially you need to answer:
- What is it that we want to accomplish?
- How do we know that a change really means improvement? Can you notice it, is it measurable?
- What changes can we make that result in an improvement? List all suggestions, pick a few processes to prioritize and focus on.
Then commences a cycle called PDSA, every point has its own cycle.
P. PLAN – Create a plan. Process description, who does what, when and how?
D. DO - Act according to the plan during a predetermined time period.
S. STUDY - Follow up, measure and analyze the result.
A. ACT – Draw conclusions, discuss what went well and what didn't work. Suggest improvements of the plan that restart from the first point.
A PDSA cycle is often relatively short, about 2-20 weeks. These steps make up the foundation for quality improvement work. What a predetermined time-frame you go back to the initial three questions, list new suggestions and pick new prioritized processes to work with.