QualityBites Blog

Four excerpts from 'The Point of Care' book...

What happens when a new CEO is given 6 months to fix a health service riddled with quality problems?  Drawing on my first two 'technical' books, my research into effective quality systems and many years in the quality and clinical governance trenches, this 'business fiction' tells the story of one CEO's quest to take a health service from ordinary to extraordinary.  But not everyone wants to go with her... 

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From helpless to helpful - let's get proactive about great care.

Learned helplessness is discussed a lot in healthcare. I’ve heard it blamed for every ill from staff not speaking up for safety, to allowing chronic poor care to go unchallenged. From my perspective it is a key contributor to average or poor care. Too often I see or hear of situations where staff know that things need fixing but don’t feel they can do anything about it, or have lost the will to aim for anything other than mediocrity.

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When we hear what we wish we hadn't

Recently on a plane I pricked up my ears to this conversation  – roughly paraphrased – going on behind me:

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Plan to be great - not just to survive

The start of another year – and people are planning.  If you’re reading this, you’re probably developing an improvement plan for the year. – or thinking about it!

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One question to test your quality system

Here’s a simple question to ascertain if your organisation is on the road to consistently high quality care.

What does your organisation’s quality system manager/team spend most of their time doing?

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Ten Leadership Practices for Great Care

‘If it doesn’t happen in habit, it doesn’t happen.’

I’m not sure who to attribute this quote to – possibly Steven Covey. If he didn’t say it, he should have!  But whoever it was, I’m a fan of this idea.  What’s this got to do with the first QualityNews for 2017? As regular readers will know, I like to kick off each new year with something – a goal or challenge –  that inspires action to make care better at the end of the year than it is at the beginning.   This year, I’m challenging you to master and implement 10 leadership practices that will kickstart your quality system, turbo charge your clinical governance and transform your consumer experience.

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Data, data everywhere - but is it telling us what we need to know?

Data, data everywhere… some of it useful for improving care, some of it not and a whole lot in between. Never before have health services collected, studied and discussed so much data about care safety and quality…and yet, the mindset and strategy required to make this a useful exercise are often missing. 

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Does your quality system detect neglect?

Does it? And – if you’re running an acute healthcare service, how long could a consumer go without being offered a wash? These questions have been exercising my mind lately, as I see more and more quality systems focused on risk and compliance, with a bit of improvement thrown in to meet accreditation standards. And reactive risk and compliance at that. Of course standards must be met and risks managed – but driving and supporting the whole consumer experience requires more than that. Imagine the elements that would be missing from other people-related industries such as hotels and aviation if they only met technical standards and managed risks.

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The dangerous 'Everyone comes to work to do a good job' belief

How would you like a report into an organisation you are associated with to be called ‘A Shameful Chapter…’?  No, me neither.  And yet this is now the case for many people who are, and have been for the past decade or so, associated with the Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service (Oakden facility); with the release of the latest in string of reports on suboptimal care at the service.

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My new book: The Point of Care is now available!

Looking for an easy way to build your quality leadership knowledge and skills?  In The Point of Care, I take organisational improvement from the dry and technical topic it can be and embed it in the story of a health service trying to make a difference against the odds and against time. 

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Is your quality system road leading you to greatness? Or are you stuck in the compliance carpark?

Here’s a simple question to ascertain if your organisation is on the road to consistently high quality care.

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