A planned approach to improving things will produce a better chance of being successful. The three fundamental questions for achieving improvement are a useful way of framing organisation’s approach to quality improvement work.
What are we trying to accomplish?
This question is intended to help you be clear about the improvements that you would like to make; what results you would like to get, and how organisations would like things to be different. Having a clear vision of the organisation’s own aims is crucial.
How will we know that a change is an improvement?
Without measurement it is impossible to know whether organisations have improved. We encourage organisations to think about how they want things to be different when they have implemented their change and agree what data you need to collect to measure it. You can do this in terms of the way in which the organisation’s results or outcomes might be different, or how their processes might change.
What changes can we make that will lead to an improvement?
Finally, organisations need to decide what changes they will try in order to achieve the results they are looking for. The organisations themselves know their own system best, so we encourage them to keep their objectives in mind and use their existing knowledge and experience to guide them in adapting the examples and exemplars from the handbook and the learning workshops. Organisations are encouraged to gather together as many ideas as they can. These will form the basis for the next step – the PDSA cycles.