Are clinicians engaged in quality improvement?

A review of the literature on healthcare professionals’ views on quality improvement initiatives

May 2011

Joyce Wilkinson
Alison Powell
Huw Davies

Key points

  • An enhanced model of professionalism with a number of components is required that:
    • places a stronger emphasis on accountability
    • recognises the benefits of creating a different dynamic between patients and professionals
    • assumes a stronger sense of responsibility for how the wider health system works and for all dimensions of quality
    • promotes a constant drive to improve what clinicians do
    • accepts change as a virtue rather than a threat
    • commits to using a range of different approaches to develop and mobilise knowledge about how to improve care and build the formal evidence base underpinning improvement
    • emphasises the importance of clinicians working in multidisciplinary teams and across professional and organisational boundaries.

In 2006, we commissioned a review seeking to clarify what is already known about the views of UK health care professionals in this area. This updated review builds on this and highlights how clinical engagement in improvement remains a complex, challenging issue.

We want to inspire and build the will, enthusiasm and commitment among clinical communities to acknowledge and adopt system-wide quality improvement methods to enhance the patient experience and the quality of clinical care.

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