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At ImproveWell, we are firm believers that innovation from the front line is the key to bringing lasting change, creating more efficient and cost-effective healthcare systems.

Improving the quality of healthcare isn’t dependent on a single factor and focusing improvement on a single area isn’t enough to have the impact the system needs to see.

ImproveWell empowers everyone to assess their day to day working practices and identify areas where changes can be made to improve quality, increase efficiency, cut costs, and deliver better patient outcomes.

A recent study completed by South West Academic Health Science Network[1] (SW AHSN) showed the huge impact that these small, incremental changes have had with one of our clients.

A single improvement idea alone has saved around 22 hours per week in staff time. By adding security tags to emergency grab boxes, staff know that is the tag isn’t broken, the box has been checked and is ready to be used, saving time in duplicating checks, and also ensuring that staff can react as quickly as possible in an emergency situation.

Another idea, adding digital clocks on wards and in delivery rooms, has helped staff feel more confident in recording their timings, and ensured that the risk of a discrepancy in records and potential litigation has been reduced.

A third, placing amnesty boxes in staff rooms to gather up each day’s pocketed resources for redistribution, is saving one unit an estimated £80 a week – more than £4000 a year.

All of these were small, easy to implement changes, noticed by staff as they went about their daily jobs, and all saw the impact immediately.

But the benefit isn’t just contained to the improvements being suggested. Using ImproveWell has had a tangible impact on the culture of the maternity ward. Satisfaction levels amongst Maternity staff on their ability to influence improvements are higher than Trust-wide or nationally. For those using ImproveWell, they are even higher.

In fact, 75% of staff using ImproveWell reported feeling able to improve their area of work compared to the 53% scored by the Trust as a whole.

Across the board, involving frontline staff in continuous improvement, making space for them to communicate their ideas has led to an increase in staff morale and engagement, with staff saying they feel more comfortable putting forward their ideas, and more able to improve their area of work since using ImproveWell. Listening and implementing those ideas has saved time and money, and improved patient care.

Creating space for these types of innovations is the difference between empowering colleagues to become change-makers or watching colleagues become entrenched in the fear of failure. The SW AHSN report showed that more than four fifths (85%) of users of ImproveWell felt it empowered them to implement ideas for change.

Even making seemingly small changes can help healthcare organisations to drastically improve their landscape, reducing waste, improving efficiency and increasing the quality of care provided, leading to better patient outcomes. The intricate web of patient care relies on staff at all levels, clinical and non-clinical to communicate, to innovate, to continuously look for ways to improve their surroundings. And it’s only by cultivating this environment that lasting change can ensue.

Find out more

To find out how ImproveWell can help increase staff engagement and drive change in your organisation, and to read the impact it has had at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, read the report here, or get in touch!

[1] Another way of listening: An evaluation of the use of ImproveWell to listen and act on staff ideas for improvement, South West Academic Health Science Network

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