Why Continuous Quality Improvement is important

What is Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)?

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is a quality management process that encourages all team members to continuously ask the following questions:

  • How are we doing?
  • Can we do things better?
  • Can we examine ways to reduce waste, increase our efficiency and improve outcomes?
  • Can we increase staff and patient satisfaction?

Our practices that are currently working in the Person-Centred Medical Neighbourhood Program are working within this process and learning how to embed the CQI framework into their practice’s daily lives.

The key to any CQI activities is to develop structured, systematic approaches to evaluate current processes and data, and to develop ways to improve, in order to achieve the desired outcomes. The CQI process can be applied to all areas of your practice, and a commitment by the entire practice team is necessary to achieve sustainable improvements in quality. It’s about understanding performance at all levels and bringing systems, technology, and people together to help the practice improve in many ways. It means empowering every person within the practice (PCMN approach) to look at innovative ways and improve in the way you are currently doing things.

What do you need to do?

Before you begin any CQI actives is to ask the following: What are the things we are trying to accomplish?

This could be applied to many areas of your practice: changes to the way staff work, how you schedule your chronic disease patients, implementing nurse clinics or simple improving the quality of your practice data.

It is important to understand what these changes will look like in your general practice and to define these as SMART goals – which means they’re Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and have a Timeframe.

The next question to ask is: How will we know that a change is an improvement? For example, are we moving closer to achieving the Quadruple Aim?

If you would like to find out more information around continuous quality improvement activities, POLAR or PCMN Program contact the PCMNP Team: Catherine Scardilli or David Scandol.