Quality Improvement for geriatricians - a new course from your friendly BGS
Tom Bartlett is a consultant geriatrician in Poole Hospital, Dorset. He has a keen interest in Quality Improvement (QI), is a Wessex QI alumnus and has been a member of the BGS Clinical Quality committee for 4 years, starting as the trainee representative. Here he discusses the Quality Improvement in Healthcare of Older People event which is being held 3-4 October in Leeds. He tweets @talltom1980
Quality Improvement as a healthcare movement has been around for over 30 years. It specifically sets out to make healthcare safer, more equitable, patient-centred and more efficient. There are many definitions and many tools that can be used. It is now integrated into training curricula from foundation level to higher training. Most hospitals have an improvement team, and as clinicians, we are expected to be able to judge the quality of our services and commit to improving them. Age and Ageing has a Quality Improvement section. Yet, in my experience, a lot of us are still left a bit baffled by establishing an aim, running a PDSA cycle (Plan Do study Act) or plotting a run chart.
Caring for older people is ideally suited to Quality Improvement methods of working. At its foundation, geriatric care is person-centred. Whilst we have guidelines and benchmarking, often services vary widely from area to area which can limit easily comparable outcomes as seen in other areas of healthcare. Compounding this, the speed of change in geriatric care is staggering with increasing liaison services, blurring of primary and secondary care, as well as the national spotlights of dementia and frailty (amongst others) as our core work. Having an understanding of simple techniques to better understand the services within which we work and then how to make them better is essential.
The best way to learn about Quality Improvement is to do it. Ideally in a coached way so mistakes can be safely made and learning can be maximised. The fundamentals of QI are straightforward but can be phenomenally insightful and powerful. To start you on this road of understanding or to provide a refresher, an introductory course in QI is ideal, even better is one aimed at the area within which we work.
The Clinical Quality Group at the BGS has teamed up with Sheffield Microsystem Coaching Academy (MCA) to run the ‘Quality Improvement in healthcare of older people course’ in Leeds on 3-4thOctober 2019. This 2-day course serves as an introduction to Quality Improvement terminology, principles and techniques specifically tailored to those involved in the care of older people. It is based on the Sheffield MCA 2 day course. For more information on this or their other courses, click here.
You can register for this course here. We hope to develop a faculty of BGS members to help deliver this course in the future - if interested please get in touch.
In parallel, you will see an increasing presence of Quality Improvement at the BGS Spring and Autumn Meetings. Talks, workshops, idea exchanges as well as poster coaching and discussion of the Clinical Quality posters. If you have experience or are interested in improving quality of healthcare for older people then join the Clinical Quality group to share your ideas with like-minded people.