Improving engagement in a quality collaborative.

North West London
Published Date: 12 Nov 2014

The increasing financial constraints facing the NHS require that services be efficient and effective. Attempts to improve quality of care and services must also be efficient and effective. Quality improvement collaboratives (QICs) improve evidence-based practice within limited timescales by bringing teams together and providing 'change agent' support to follow a defined approach. The efficacy of QICs has yet to be demonstrated and little has been reported on how best to manage them efficiently. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care Northwest London (CLAHRC NWL) QIC works with NHS-based teams on a range of clinical topics. An assessment framework was developed that allowed programme managers to review teams' use of the QIC's approach and identify and address engagement problems. This study describes the application of this assessment framework to 49 CLAHRC NWL projects between 2009 and 2013. Changes made to address engagement problems included changes to collaborative learning approaches and changes to specific collaborative tools and method such as redesign or simplification of the tool or approach. The results show increasing engagement scores over successive rounds of projects. By reviewing and acting on issues regarding teams' engagement, managers can make changes to improve implementation fidelity, increasing the potential value of the programme and the robustness of any evaluation.

Cathy Howe