This project was funded between December 2016 and May 2018.

  • Project led by a team at NIHR CLAHRC NWL, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Aimed to introduce practical learning on barriers to successful implementation of quality improvement projects, including lack of understanding of the complexity of delivering change in health care.
  • Developed an interactive simulation module to enable people to ‘live’ the complex reality of a quality improvement project.

A team at NIHR CLAHRC NWL (National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care North West London) carried out research into the use of QI methods in health care. It found that most people don’t fully appreciate the complexity of delivering improvements in health care and therefore don’t plan appropriately to anticipate and mitigate risks.

It is only after people have had a ‘lived experience’ of delivering a QI project that they fully appreciate what is required.

The Quality Improvement through Interactive Simulation (QIIS) project involved developing a case study based learning approach, drawing on real-life health care improvement scenarios. It enables people to ‘live’ an improvement project first hand. It allows them to experience the project’s evolution over a one-to-two-year period, compressed into a one-to-two-hour interactive learning experience.

The QIIS has been developed as both a face-to-face resource and an online learning module. A ‘training the trainer’ pack to disseminate the learning resource has also been produced and piloted.

A series of QIIS workshops were held, involving over 600 attendees. These helped to refine the case study and learning points.

The project team spent time refining the case study narrative, to ensure it is accessible to people from varied backgrounds and with different levels of QI expertise.

QIIS continues to be disseminated at events, and through social media. The project team is also working with the Royal College of Physicians to accredit the QIIS module. New learning modules set in different health care settings, and covering different aspects of improvement projects, are also planned.

Contact details

Dr Julie Reed, Senior Research Fellow, Imperial College London, julie.reed02@imperial.ac.uk 

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