Virtual Workshop: Hidden Benefits – The Cost and Value of Healthcare Quality Improvement in Ireland

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Since its inception in 2015, the development of a culture of quality improvement and innovation across the Irish Health Services has been a core driver of the National Quality Improvement Team.  As part of our strategic approach to developing evidence for the impact of quality improvement, in 2019 we commissioned a team from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, University of Medicine and Health Sciences to undertake a review of published QI studies in Ireland. In collaboration with the RCSI Healthcare Outcomes Research Centre & Institute of Leadership, we hosted an online virtual workshop to share the learning from this review with QI practitioners, educators, policy-makers and patient and family representatives from across the country. 

Approximately 40 invited stakeholders took part in the event, which took place on the 20th October 2020.

This is a write-up from the workshop. 

Workshop aim and approach to write up

The workshop shared findings of a scoping review of Irish QI studies (2015 -2020) and reported on the current practice of economic analysis in these.  A core purpose of the workshop was to together discuss with participants how the concept of “value” may be incorporated further into QI practice and reporting.  In this write-up, we have included:

  •  Participants’ expectations of the workshop and appetite for engaging with the concepts of “QI and Value”
  •  Participants’ recommendations for the development of QI research, education and practice into the future

Snippets from the workshop

 Watch Dr. Philip Crowley, HSE National Director Quality Improvement, share insights about the importance of stakeholder collaboration and research in the future development of QI in Ireland 

 Watch Prof Jan Sorensen, Director of the Healthcare Outcomes Research Centre, at RCSI University of Medicine & Health Sciences share insights about the importance of cost effectiveness data to achieve the maximum return on investment in QI activity 

Workshop approach and discussions

Dr Jennifer Martin, HSE Lead for QI Evidence and Dr Maureen Flynn, HSE Lead for QI Connections facilitated the workshop. At the start of the workshop, we asked participants what they wanted to connect about:

  •  Research opportunities
  •  Patient involvement in QI
  •  Best practice examples
  •  QI contextual factors
  •  Health economics
  •  Peer learning
  •  Building a QI network

We also asked participants their perception of the importance of QI and costing. They felt "QI and costing" is:

  •  Essential
  •  Interconnected
  •  Overlooked
  •  Value for money

Participants then heard the findings of the scoping review, which were presented by RCSI researchers Dr Siobhán McCarthy and Dr Samira Barbara Jabakhanji.  The research has been submitted for publication in a peer reviewed journal and will be made publically available at a later date. 

Invited guest speakers then provided expertise about potential next steps: Mr Ray Healy, Project Officer at the Office of the Chief Nurse, Department of Health and Dr Peter Lachman, CEO International Society for Quality in Healthcare. 

Insight and expertise was also provided by workshop participants via the chat function.

Dr Ulfat Shaikh, Professor of Paediatrics & Director for Healthcare Quality at the University of California, Davis provided an international example of how to incorporate principles of health economics into QI studies.

Mr Eunan Friel, Director of RCSI Health Management Institute commended the collaborative workshop and research approach.

What people wanted to happen after the workshop

Workshop participants shared their recommendations for what they wanted to see happen to support the development of QI and value in Ireland. Core next steps related to:

1.     Enhancing QI Research & Dissemination Activities

2.     Educational Guide about QI & Value

3.    Transitioning from QI Project to QI Programme approaches

Want to find out more?

1.  Download the full workshop write-up to find out more about what was shared and discussed.

2.  Look out for the forthcoming research publication and continue the conversations and connections on twitter @NationalQI  #RapidQIreland #QIreland @RCSI_il @RCSI_Irl

3.  Join the Q Community (please click)

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