Quality improvement for patient safety and a better practice culture
Pam Mosedale, Mark Turner
Monday, May 2, 2022
This article explores the subjects of quality improvement, patient safety and practice culture, and the relationships between them. These subjects are highly relevant to the care that patients receive — learning more about them can improve our ability to treat animals effectively. A positive practice culture is one that encourages civility, teamwork, a blame-free attitude to errors, and a learning approach for the whole team. Quality improvement is a mechanism to improve standards of care — it helps patient safety and supports a positive practice culture. Quality improvement can be defined as the combined efforts of the whole team to make changes that will lead to better patient outcomes, better system performance (care) and better professional development (learning). Quality improvement methods, such as clinical audits and significant event audits, and quality improvement tools such as guidelines, checklists and systems of work, can help veterinary practices to make a start with quality improvement, and engaging with these quality improvement tools can help improve patient safety and practice culture to benefit all team members.
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