Commentaries


Quality Improvement and the NHS: Lessons for Vets

Dr Bill TaylorDr William Taylor of the Royal College of General Practitioners takes us through the successes and struggles accompanying the implementation of quality improvement in human healthcare.

The majority of people that work in a caring profession wish to improve the quality of care they provide. This is equally true for GPs and vets but how to do this can be a subject for debate.

The Juran trilogy helps separate three different components of quality, quality planning, quality control and quality improvement (QI). Quality planning can be defined as a process for designing and organising services that meet new goals and ensure that patient needs are met. Quality control includes national inspection through to local practice/practitioner evaluation and peer group review.

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Building a learning culture: how quality improvement can help

Catherine Oxtoby of The Veterinary Defence Society (VDS) tells us about the importance of asking ‘what’ is responsible for outcomes rather than ‘who’, and how quality improvement can help us achieve it. VDS

‘The more you react to failure, the less you will understand it.’ So says Sidney Dekker, one of the world’s most vocal advocates of ‘Just Culture’ in relation to human error in multiple industries.

The emotional response to failure is completely natural but it also often obscures important truths. It focuses on the person, blaming the individual and using words like sloppy, careless and inattentive. Just Culture is about understanding why someone made a mistake; seeing past the person, to the system which shaped their behaviour. It’s about learning from failure. The more we react, the less we learn.

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Is quality your cup of tea?

TeaHead of Projects at RCVS Knowledge, Kathleen Reinoga, introduces us to the concept of ‘quality’ in the veterinary context and how it underpins our Quality Improvement Project.

Quality is a word we can associate with many parts of our life; it can mean different things to different people.

Quality is a key factor when making a decision, like buying a well-made pair of boots that you know will last four times as long as your last pair. Maybe it’s a quality cup of tea, when everything comes together perfectly and you can finally relax with your hands around a hot brew.

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