Engaging Clinicians in QI

We talk a lot about ‘engaging with clinicians’ in quality improvement (QI) and I am often asked ‘Is there good clinical engagement for this?’ when starting an improvement project.

I like to think we have a good track record of working and building relationships with clinical colleagues and it always helps if you are trying to improve something they are passionate about.

But we can always do better and, as with a lot of things in QI; ‘engaging clinicians’ is as much about what you don’t do, as what you do.

In this video made for their online Open School, Don Goldmann, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) talks about his 7 Rules for Engaging Clinicians in Quality Improvement.

There are some points here that I think are worth emphasising:

  • Don’t use ‘mystical’ language or use Japanese or Latin terms when talking about an improvement. Quality Improvement is pretty simple – don’t try to complicate it!
  • Clinicians care about and understand a non-clinical agenda (waiting times and cost reduction) but we have to be patient-centred when setting our aims
  • Take into account clinical schedules when asking people to participate
  • Use good data!

We are really interested in the kind of academic promotional pathways that Don describes in the video and would appreciate any comments that people might have on this.

If you have the time (4 minutes) it is also work checking out this second video from Don Goldmann about clinician-to-clinician engagement in QI and the benefit of some straight talking about the ‘pinch points’.

Hope this is helpful and please share your comments.



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