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Quality Improvement in Healthcare with Dr John Boulton

Quality improvement in healthcare

Being invited to talk at the Quality Improvement in Healthcare conference is a real honour and privilege. I am looking forward to attending the event, and listening to the excellent speakers from the field of Quality Improvement, as well as networking with delegates. Whilst it is an honour to be speaking at such an event, it also provides me an opportunity to learn from others and reflect on my own improvement journey.

Starting off as a practising clinician I have been very lucky in that my career has taken me all over the world, from Sheffield to the USA, the Middle East and now Wales where I have been a Director of Improvement within a Health Board and now at the 1000 Lives Improvement Service. It has provided me with a wealth of experience and opportunity to observe improvement science being applied in various contexts. And interestingly, whether it is the Middle East or the Welsh valleys the challenges are very similar.

It is now 25 years since the loss of W. Edwards Deming whose philosophies underpin much of improvement science. However, 25 years on from his death healthcare continues to struggle to apply quality improvement at scale. We still struggle to build the necessary capabilities to enable sustained improvement. And more importantly we have not sufficiently understood the leadership components necessary to enable and support quality improvement. 

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Increasingly I hear improvers discussing the human side of improvement, such as behaviour change, team coaching and leadership styles.  These components have previously had a lesser emphasis than some of the technical components of improvement such as control charts. I believe this is now changing for the better. Why spend time building a control chart if you have nobody in the room to share it with? 

At the conference I will be speaking about the components required to support improvement within organisations and how we are applying this in Wales, both locally and nationally, to drive improvement. 

Conferences like this one are a wonderful opportunity to network and share learning. I look forward to sharing my thoughts on quality improvement. And even more, l look forward to learning from others, so please come and speak to me if you are attending.

To find out more information about our upcoming quality improvement in healthcare conference click here.

Article by Dr John Boulton, Interim Director of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety and Director of 1,000 Lives Improvement, Public Health Wales. Thank you for your contribution.

Follow the conversation on 23rd January with #QIHealthcareConf

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