Online course

Quality Improvement in Healthcare: the Case for Change

Explore new and better ways of organising health and social care services, to improve quality, with this free online course.

Quality Improvement in Healthcare: the Case for Change

Why join the course?

Why is quality improvement in health and social care systems so difficult? Why is it so challenging to bring in new and better ways of organising health and social care services?

Many reasons have been put forward: lack of money; lack of knowledge about either the actual quality of care delivered, or resistance to making changes to long-established ways of working; excessive and sometimes misunderstood regulations; and professional opinions and interests that are hard to influence when systems are working at or beyond capacity.

This course suggests that the main reason is complexity. Health and social care systems are inherently complex, with many interconnected activities and processes, and thus difficult to measure, analyse, change and improve.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsConstrained budgets, a growing and ageing population presenting with complex conditions, as well as high expectations and demands from patients all combine to make the successful delivery of quality health care in the 21st century a major challenge. But understanding how the system works and how patients and professionals interact is key to unlocking some of these challenges which this course will help with. Would you like to make a difference to patient care? Would you like to start a journey of improvement? Patients, carers and families, managers, suppliers, accountants, porters. Administrators, human resources, house keeping and catering staff. Buildings and facilities engineers.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsIT experts as well as clinicians all form part of this complex system we call health and social care and have an interest in improvement. We know that everybody is incredibly busy working hard in their own part of the system, but our experience tells us that everyone wants to make a difference. Knowing where and how to start is the challenge. Over the next six weeks, we will share with you a set of skills, tools, and attitudes that make it possible to change complex systems whatever your role is within the system.

Skip to 1 minute and 29 secondsThe University of Bath and the West of England Academic Health Science Network have put together this course to help you be more confident, to rethink the status quo, to know how to look at the problem from different angles, including that of the patient, to test and learn from the changes you make, to develop the habits of a continuous improver, to identify and measure unintended consequences, and to work as a team using data to adapt your improvements, to embed coaching and leadership skills, and to create a culture of improvement, to share and celebrate your success and to know where to go to learn more and get extra support for your ideas.

Skip to 2 minutes and 15 secondsWe know that a small group of committed people can change the world, and we know that using quality improvement methods means they can do it faster.

What topics will you cover?

  • Complexity and quality improvement in health and social care
  • Quality improvement theories: The Model for Improvement, an introduction to LEAN, an introduction to microsystems
  • Engagement and co-production with patients and families as partners
  • Evaluating quality improvement: the lens of profound knowledge, measuring for improvement
  • Systems modelling and quality improvement: modelling for demand and capacity problems and computer simulation modelling
  • Making the case for quality improvement with your team, your leaders and more widely to your community.

When would you like to start?

  • Available now
    This course started 25 February 2019

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Identify what quality and process improvement entails, especially in a health and social care setting
  • Explain how quality improvement can lead to better outcomes for staff and organisations, including customers and/or patients
  • Gain confidence to start and lead a quality improvement project within your organisation
  • Identify how to access additional support, and get others to join with you in making improvements
  • Discuss how quality improvement can help you deal with complexity in organisational systems and identify how to improve key areas without worsening others
  • Explore how systems modelling and analytics techniques support quality improvement initiatives

Who is the course for?

The course is designed for people working in or interested in health and social care organisations; clinicians, allied health professionals, nurses, managers, administrators, analysts and researchers. People with a general interest in health and social care organisations, such as service users and carers, may also find the course of interest to them. The approach and the topics we cover are relevant to any health and social care system and any person working in that system.

What do people say about this course?

Thank you, this course was excellent. Most of the material was relevant to my area of work, the clinical examples were easy to relate and the strategies for quality improvement can be applied in any healthcare setting.

Fiona Doocey

This was a wonderful course! Thank you very much for all! The great learning material, videos and comments are so much useful for the improvement in the health sector and for the improvement in all the sectors of activity!

Maria Robu

Who will you learn with?

Anna Burhouse

I am Director of Quality Development for Northumbria Healthcare NHS FT. I lead quality improvement development & coach teams across the UK to innovate and spread best practice.

Christos Vasilakis

Professor and Director, Centre for Healthcare Improvement & Innovation (CHI-2) @ProfChristosV @UniofBath @BathSofM. Change by design through systems modelling and simulation in healthcare.

Tricia Woodhead

25yrs as NHS consultant Radiologist, 9 yrs Medical Director & 5 yrs as Regional Medical Lead for Patient Safety. I am a Health Foundation/IHI Quality Improvement Fellow. I coach & teach teams to excel

Who developed the course?

The University of Bath is one of the UK’s leading universities both in terms of research and our reputation for excellence in teaching, learning and graduate prospects.