Management teams within healthcare are increasingly looking at ways to continually drive improvements within the Trust, which can come in any shape or form, such as streamlining inefficient processes or adopting new technology to enhance the experience for all concerned individuals. Usually these methods of continuous improvements are aimed at improving service delivery, driving efficiencies or empowering staff to deliver high quality patient care.
Continuous improvement, as the name suggests, is an ongoing perpetual cycle to improve aspects or elements of an organisation. Sometimes these improvements can span the whole organisation, whilst others can be more departmental focused. Regardless of the nature of the improvement, what’s most important is that they're frequent.
In a healthcare environment, continuous improvement is critical and delivering such a programme will enhance the quality of care and outcomes for patients. To deliver this initiative requires a methodical approach to ensure that it is tackled in the right manner from the outset. Building a culture of continuous improvement needs careful coordination and planning between all stakeholders and usually will be kept accountable using a road map of key milestones.
Healthcare systems are typically built on a complex network of care processes and pathways. The quality of the care delivered by this system depends to a large extent on how well this network functions, and how well the people who provide and manage care are able to work together. So how can technology foster an environment of continuous improvement?
To truly drive the continuous improvement programme thorough a technology platform, clinical teams need to ensure that accurate patient-based and associated diagnosis data is inputted into the system as relevant:
The initial diagnosis
The prescribed medication
The proposed procedure
Allergies and drug history
Senior clinicians and experienced administration teams play a critical role in ensuring that good quality data is inputted, as this will help their junior teams in their continuous learning to be able to easily identify conditions and associated prognosis. Software solutions can also support continuous improvement and learning initiatives, by suggesting what treatment should be provided from the initial diagnosis, e.g. in a minor injury case.
From our experience delivering technology based solutions to drive continuous improvement initiatives, it is always best to define key outcomes at the start of the project to agree expectations. Done effectively, this can deliver sustained improvements- not only in the quality, experience, productivity and outcomes of care, but also for individual staff members impacted, supporting their learning outcomes.
Pathpoint can help clinical teams in their delivery of effective learning outcomes, by documenting the entire patient journey, for any complicated cases, clinical teams can refer back to the treatment provided and use this as a baseline for treating similar cases.
For more information on how Pathpoint can support continuous improvement, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.