Quality Improvement Project (QIP)

As a trainee you are in good position to identify areas of practice that frustrate you and that possibly have an impact on patient safety. During your primary care posts in ST1 /2 you are required to complete a quality improvement project with the aim of improving patient care. Audit is a type of QIP as both look at the quality of care provided with the aim of improving it and both require measurements to demonstrate change. More generally, QIPs can be about making small incremental changes and measurements which may be done weekly to test the impact of the changes. In contrast an audit has set criteria, each with their own defined standards, and has two sets of measurements over a longer time period, to demonstrate a baseline and then improvement. Completing a QIP allows change to be tested both quickly and successfully and is easier to do in a short time frame, for example in a 4 - 6 month trainee post. The QIP should be written up in the relevant section on the Portfolio and your supervisor will both assess and discuss this with you. 

How to undertake a QIP

There is a lot of information below with ideas for QIPs, if you are unsure what to do. Guidance on the tools used and completed templates which have been marked by supervisors are there to guide you. It is suggested you look at this section before starting your QIP. 

The Model for Improvement is a recognised tool for undertaking a Quality Improvement Project in a health care setting and can be used as a framework to help you. It asks three questions:

  1. Aim – What are we trying to accomplish?
  2. Measure - How will we know if a change is an improvement?
  3. Change - What changes can we make that will result in improvement?

First of all you need to decide what the aim of your project is going to be. 

Projects can be chosen following a significant event, a patient complaint; or an area of care you feel passionate about. 

Do not make your project too complicated; it needs to be completed within your primary care placement in ST1/2.

The project should aim to improve patient safety or care and be ‘SMART’.

  • Specific - do not make it too broad and chose something you are interested in. Words such as increase / reduce help to set a clear goal.
  • Measurable – ensure that there is something you can easily measure to demonstrate any change. It can be qualitative data (descriptive) as well as quantitative data (numerical data).
  • Achievable - ensure the data is easily collectable and keep the aims simple.
  • Relevant - project should be focused on patient safety.
  • Time defined – choose something that can be done in your time frame. You need to be able to complete your project in your primary care placement. 

For example a ‘SMART’ aim looking at doing 6 week baby checks in a timely manner could be ‘To improve the percentage of 6 week baby checks performed between the start of week 6 and by end of week 8’. 

The QIP template requires you to describe your QIP in logical steps. This is then reviewed and graded by your ES. word pictures to describe the grading for each section are below.

Introduction to QIPs

Training resources

QIP ideas and completed QIPS with ES feedback

Page last updated: 21 September 2020

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