27 Jun 2018 | Mental Health & Addiction Quality Improvement
The second cohort of health professionals is about to begin the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s mental health and addiction programme’s quality improvement facilitator course.
Beginning in early July 2018, the eight-month course aims to provide frontline staff with improvement skills. It is delivered by the Commission, Ko Awatea and Counties Manukau Health.
Twenty participants will take part – most from district health boards (DHBs), and three from non-government organisations. They include consumer advocates and leaders, nurses, quality safety coordinators, clinical coordinators, mental health and addiction staff, managers and family advisors.
Quality improvement specialist for the mental health and addiction programme, Karen O’Keeffe, says it’s exciting to see mental health developing further capacity and capability to undertake quality improvement – ‘there was a real gap there’.
Participants choose an improvement project relevant to their work and which aligns with one of the first three areas of focus for the programme – zero seclusion, connecting care or adverse events.
The first cohort to take part in the quality improvement facilitator course graduated in March. Their projects were focused on one of the five programme priority areas.
Karen says there was some great feedback from participants, but challenges were also highlighted.
‘Participants commented on how intense the course was, the tight timeframes, and the difficulty of being able to free up enough worktime to complete course work.
‘As the coordinators of the course, we’ve had some learnings too. For this next cohort, we are going to really focus on encouraging people to be realistic about the size of the project they take on, so they can ideally see some positive changes in the short duration of the improvement project.
‘We will also prioritise being available to coach and mentor participants, and where possible will link them with people within their own DHB or organisation who have also done the course.’
She says the participants of the first course developed a new appreciation about how difficult change could be and the time it takes.
‘They’ve learned a lot and it really has changed their focus on how they undertake improvement projects.’
The mental health and addiction programme’s five improvement topics are: