In recent years the RVH Emergency Department (ED) had been under intense pressure and public scrutiny. This led to a demoralised workforce who had become disengaged with quality improvement (QI). QI projects had become an exercise in data collection with little focus on improving care for patients.
Two consultants undertook training in QI and then decided to develop a QI project aiming to empower staff and embed QI as daily practice. An ED QI steering group of interested multidisciplinary members was formed and devised an improvement plan to increase staff engagement with QI.
The steering group secured funding for a subscription to the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) online open school. This was made available to 50 staff and was used to increase knowledge of QI methodology. An aim of 250 open school modules completed by August 2017 was set. This total was surpassed in June 2017, amounting to over 330 hours of QI training undertaken in staff’s own time. To date 13 staff members have achieved IHI Certificates in Quality and Safety.
We designed a series of projects which were linked with the Trust Improvement plan. The QI teams are all multidisciplinary with medical and nursing staff from different grades involved in each as well as input from other professionals such as pharmacy, physio and clerical/admin staff.
Through the delivery of this project the ED team’s enthusiasm for QI has been reinvigorated. We have demonstrated improvements in clinical standards such as pain management where a project was undertaken, which has seen a 4 fold increase in the number of patient’s who sustain a fractured hip receiving the gold standard treatment of fascia iliaca nerve block.
We have shown improvements in communication with the ‘Unfinished Symphony’ project demonstrating significantly better ED/GP written handover correspondance and the ‘What’s in a name’ project decreasing inter-specialty conflict during the referral process. We have also increased efficiency with senior review for Ambulance patients and subsequent significant decrease in waiting times. A recent project targeting the waste associated with unnessecary triage blood tests is showing promising early results.
The ED improvement team have endeavoured to improve the environment for staff by developing a ‘Grrr to Great’ board, through which staff are empowered to highlight problems but are also tasked with developing solutions. We have also increased accessibility of QI data by producing a QI update board and displaying data openly and transparently in the department.