I engaged Cathy Balding to guide and advise me, our board, executive and quality team on creating a quality and safety framework that was meaningful and attainable to all our employees. I have found over the years that we have made quality and safety an enigma by using terms such as ‘person centred care, KPIs, PDSA, sentinel events, short notice survey’, the list goes on. To the nurse, doctor or allied health clinician at the bedside, in clinic or out in the community, what does all this mean every day when delivering care? Quality then becomes what the quality unit does - and it gets really busy when we have to do this thing called ‘accreditation.’ My vision as the Chief Executive was to have every single person working or volunteering in our organisation understand how their role improves the quality of care and experience of all the people attending our services. Through Cathy’s strategic quality system we have taken over 1200 staff through a process of how they can contribute to ‘Peninsula Care’ which is ‘safe, effective, personal and connected.’ Our staff now know how they make the difference at the point of care, whether it be our kitchen team, our support services, nurses, doctors - all our staff. We continue on the journey of embedding our framework and processes within daily practice so we are ready at any time for what was once that ‘accreditation’ enigma to be feared. We are now “accreditation ready” every day.
Cathy, I have just finished The Point of Care and got a great deal from it. I’ve been working in organisations both public and private, both health and others for my entire career - there is no doubt that health care environments are the toughest - but you have given me some very useful tools to recalibrate and steer us through to the best care possible. I will be ordering the toolkit and seeing what I can apply in my area as part of the larger organisational clinical governance and improvement program - leading at the point of care is the perfect place . Thank you again.
Click on the Free Quality Assessment Tool button to assess your quality system against the ten results it should be achieving for you and your consumers.
Get information and tips on how to implement a strategic quality system in my monthly QNews bulletin: click on the Free Quality Assessment Tool button to access QNews.
Our safety and quality 'movement' has already started with great discussion at our recent peak Safety and Quality forum. We are co-designing our strategy with staff from all levels, with consumers, supported from the top. We will be jargon-free and focus on what matters to those who receive our care, and those who provide it at the clinical and personal interface. It's the hearts and minds stuff - you set the scene at WCHN with the exercise where we had to imagine our loved one in a foreign hospital. Thanks for helping us on our journey!
In 2014, Mercy Health set out to reinvigorate quality and safety. Following a series of workshops facilitated by Cathy and using the Strategic Quality Management System, we were able to clearly and meaningfully define our vision, goals and objectives for safe and quality care for patients at Mercy Health. Fast forwarding three years later, our quality framework has been embedded into many aspects of the business – indicator dashboards, quality improvement, decision-making, priority setting, compliance systems – and the list goes on.
Has it been an easy road? Absolutely not! Are we where we want to be? Absolutely not! We have made amazing headway though on our quality and safety journey and are really proud of how far our systems, processes and culture has come in such a short time. The best thing is that we have not lost our momentum, and our passion and enthusiasm is stronger than ever because of the staff engagement we have achieved along the way. We owe our success to the strong framework that was developed under Cathy’s leadership – it always brings us back to purpose and is built on solid, meaningful principles that resonate!
This was a step missing in our previous attempts at developing a robust, organisation-wide framework for quality & safety. We now have the patient as the very visible focus of our framework for quality, safety & the patient experience ... this has been a big winner in terms of engaging clinicians in the framework and setting patient outcome-focused goals and improvement activities.'
'The Point of Care book is fantastic resource. Started reading and couldn’t stop. Could relate to the characters, the situations and the challenges. Would highly recommend to anyone who wants a realistic roadmap of how to make a difference within complex organisations.'
Whilst we are at the beginning of our journey, Cathy’s strategic quality model has provided the perfect opportunity for us to stop, breathe and re-focus. It is bigger than a clinical governance system. It is the platform for our organisational philosophy where every decision and action: - strategic and operational, clinical and non-clinical is undertaken with enhancement of the consumer experience at the point of care at the forefront of our thinking.
The strategic quality system model has helped Silver Chain Group reinvigorate our core belief that the client is at the centre of everything we do. It complemented, put structure around, and aligned strongly with our values. Cathy’s passion, humour and energy has taken us on experiential journey; mapping out our steps to ensuring world’s best care, every person, every time.
Thank you so much for the workshop, I have had very positive feedback from Directors and Staff, it was lovely to meet you and be impacted by your enthusiasm for getting it right for those in our care, a passion we all share. The art of care is so often forgotten when we focus on the science/evidence so highlighting in clear terms that both matter was great. Thanks also for your book, I look forward to reading it.
Just a quick email to let you know how much I appreciate your 'Quality Max' online course: 'Lead a strategic quality governance system', which is proving to be a great learning and development tool for our Clinical Governance team. The sessions prompt lots of valuable discussions as well as generating ideas about activities and strategies we would like to implement. The whole Clinical Governance Team participates in the sessions, including the administration officers, and it has really helped us to identify and develop each and every person’s role in the quality and safety agenda. Thank you for developing such a valuable resource.
'The strategic quality system model (translated at KDH as 'Best Care') gives me a vehicle for talking about quality to managers and staff without getting overly academic or task focused, and for explaining how the pieces fit together: staff characteristics, governance systems and measures.'
'What this is about is holding to a frame that assists us every day to make the decisions we need to make about how to improve care in our Health Service. This is what the SQS framework helped us to do.'
Ambulance Victoria is on a journey introducing the strategic quality model, that we call AV Best Care, across our service. AV Best Care provides the framework for delivering high quality care. It:
- Defines what Best Care means for our patients – for us we have communicated this in a Patient Care Commitment as part of our strategic plan as our promise to patients and the community;
- Engages our paramedics and other front line staff and with indirect-care staff about how we each contribute to continually improving the quality and safety of patient experiences; and
- Is led from the Board and Executive and throughout line management to ensure our systems and clinical governance pillars are robust and protect our staff and our patients, to deliver better outcomes.
It makes sense to us. It is our purpose and reason for being, and focuses all parts of our organisation on delivering a caring, safe, effective and connected experience to every patient, every time.