Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN) is committed to advocating and supporting innovation in primary care through high-performing primary care (HPPC) principles and their development in our region.
Quality Improvement is a system of regularly reviewing and refining processes to improve them, and therefore improve the quality of care your patients receive and their health outcomes. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that Quality Improvement activities lead to positive change in practices, particularly when implemented using a whole of team approach.
Quality Improvement in your general practice can address one or more of the following six domains:
Safety: avoiding harm to patients.
Effectiveness: providing evidence-based care and only providing services that are likely to be of benefit.
Patient-centricity: providing care that is responsive to each individual patient’s preferences, needs and values.
Timeliness: reducing waiting times for care and avoiding harmful delays.
Efficiency: avoiding waste.
Equity: providing care of the same quality regardless of personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, location or socio-economic status.
Why undertake Quality Improvement?
Improving all aspects of your primary care practice helps you deliver better care and health outcomes to your patients. Continuous quality improvement also makes the practice a better place to work and a stronger and more viable business.
Benefits and outcomes of QI are often categorised into the following areas:
- Patient Experience: Improving patients’ access to care; quality and safety; and outcomes.
- Care Team Wellbeing: Improving staff satisfaction, morale, teamwork, and workforce sustainability.
- Population Health: Reducing the burden of disease and health inequalities across your region.
- Reducing Costs: Reducing unnecessary hospital admissions; improving the return on innovative investments
The Quadruple Aim
When an improvement affects all four areas listed above, we say that it has achieved the ‘quadruple aim’. When developing ideas for QI in your practice, you should identify how each proposed improvement would affect each of the four areas below, and whether it would affect all four and therefore achieve the quadruple aim.