Why is quality improvement fundamental to general practice?

doctor with tablet

06 September 2019

Professor Martin Marshall, Vice Chair of the RCGP

General practice is at the heart of the UK health care system. To make primary care more effective and efficient, a quality improvement approach is vital. Improving the quality of general practice has always been at the heart of the College's mission. In 2017, we launched the Quality Position Statement which defines what ‘quality’ should look like in general practice today.

Over the next few months, we will be raising awareness of quality improvement in general practice across different clinical areas via the RCGP website and QI Ready. This will include QI case studies, a QI accreditation as well as specific resources to support the QOF QI module topic areas in end of life care, and prescribing safety.

Quality improvement improves health care

As leaders in primary care, we don’t have time or resources to spend on things that don’t work well, or don’t serve our patients as well as they could. We need to use regular and consistent ways to evaluate how safely patients access and move through our local models and pathways of care and treatment.

We need to identify how well interventions aimed at improving quality work, and the key factors driving their success to scale improvement. What’s more, these ‘ways’ need to be simple, straightforward and effective. Quality improvement methods and techniques provide us with these skills and insights.

We're keen to support primary care professionals to implement quality improvement

Quality improvement is increasingly used in practices to improve quality of care, patient outcomes, staff morale and time and cost efficiencies. We need to be able to support those practices with little experience of QI or understanding of QI methodology, inspire those looking for new QI activities to explore in practice, and to encourage inter-disciplinary working across primary care.

Following the introduction of the QI domain in the 2019/20 Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) in England, we are keen to support the primary care profession to implement the quality improvement domain and change the culture of general practice from reporting to continuously learning, adapting and changing to improve.

Access some of our quality improvement resources to support QI in primary care:

 

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