3. DESIGN IMPROVEMENT
The next step in SusQI process is to design the improvement effort by designing and testing ‘change ideas’. The combination of changes made is called the ‘improvement effort’. To ensure all solutions for sustainable healthcare have been considered it is helpful to consider the Principles of Sustainable Healthcare.
The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare has defined four principles of sustainable clinical practice:
1. Prevention - promoting health by tackling the causes of illnesses and inequalities
2. Patient self-care - empowering patients to take a greater role in managing their health
3. Lean service delivery - streamlining care systems to minimise wasteful activities
4. Low carbon alternatives – prioritising treatments with a lower environmental impact
(…and a fifth, less clinical one):
5. Efficient operational resource use - improving use of energy, transport, water, waste, equipment
These can also be viewed in the format of a driver diagram where our outcome is to reduce carbon without reducing health outcomes.
You can use these principles to help you think through possible strategies for your QI project. Also have a look at the example driver diagrams to see how they have been applied to different areas of practice such as anaesthetics, renal services, diabetes services or intensive care units.
Once you have brainstormed and organised as many actions as you can, get your team to help prioritise the top few actions based on their feasibility and impact. If you would like to discuss your ideas you can join one our Sustainable Healthcare Networks or contact us.