The latest in the CaHRU and Lincoln Institute for Health Improvement Science and Research Methods seminar series was given by Professor Siriwardena on ‘Quality Improvement Collaboratives (QICs): theory design and effects on 28 February 2018. The CaHRU team have led three large scale collaboratives over the past 12 years, including Resources for Effective Sleep Treatment (REST), the Ambulance Services Cardiovascular Quality Initiative (ASCQI) and most recently Scaling up PINCER (a pharmacist and information technology intervention to reduce potential clinically important prescribing errors in general practice.
QICs are an organised, multifaceted approach to quality improvement involving five essential features: a specified topic; clinical experts and experts in quality improvement provide ideas and support for improvement; multi-professional teams from multiple sites participate; using a model for improvement (measurement, change, feedback); and a collaborative process involves series of structured activities. The talk described how QICs have been used to implement healthcare interventions at scale and referred to a recent systematic review suggesting that over 4 out of 5 reported improvement in one or more outcomes although the quality of studies was variably poor.
QICs were described in terms of their common features: a logic model and theory of change; the complex (pragmatic) contexts of the intervention, setting and participants; and the variation in effects and changes that the intervention can or will undergo during the process of the collaborative. It was proposed that there were different types of collaborative based on their purpose which could be for intervention development, increasing reliability of evidence based processes, or scaling up evidence based complex interventions. It was argued that reviews of QICs should consider these different purposes when describing the outcomes and effects of QICs.
By Professor Niro Siriwardena[su_document url=”https://communityandhealth.dev.lincoln.ac.uk/files/2018/03/QICs_Siriwardena.pdf” width=”660″ responsive=”no”]Multi-morbidity, goal-oriented care, the community and equity[/su_document]
The first of this year’s series of CaHRU/LIH (Community and Health Research Unit/Lincoln Institute for Health) improvement science and research methods seminars was given by Prof Siriwardena on mixed methods on 16 February 2016. Improvement and implementation science benefits from the use of mixed research designs which combine quantitative and qualitative methods to show not only what happened but also why and how this might have occurred. Mixed methods approaches are a subset of multiple methods which involve more than one type of qualitative or quantitative method.
The seminar covered principles such as definitions, theoretical approaches (such as pragmatism and transformation), basic and advanced (including case study) designs and approaches to data integration and transformation. This was then applied to examples of mixed methods designs used by CaHRU in a previous programme of research: the Ambulance Services Cardiovascular Quality Initiative (ASCQI). ASCQI was a national project, led by CaHRU and East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, designed to improve care for people presenting to ambulance services with heart attack or stroke using a large-scale quality improvement collaborative (QIC), evaluated using a multiple case-study design.
ASCQI involved gathering quantitative and qualitative data to describe what effect the QIC had, and how improvements, if they did occur, were brought about. Integration of data was carried out using techniques such annotated control charts showing time series data together with what was implemented, pattern matching comparing what services did and whether improvements occurred (doi: 10.1186/1748-5908-9-17), and comparison of quantitative and qualitative data from an online questionnaire (doi: 10.1111/jep.12438). Attendees were finally asked to consider a mixed methods question and think about research designs which they might use to answer it.
Thank you to all those staff and students who attended. Details of future seminars will be posted on the CaHRU and the LIH sites shortly.
[su_document url=”https://communityandhealth.dev.lincoln.ac.uk/files/2016/02/Mixed-methods_Siriwardena.pdf” responsive=”no”]Multi-morbidity, goal-oriented care, the community and equity[/su_document]
A new study from CaHRU is published this month in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice entitled ‘Exploration of contextual factors in a successful quality improvement collaborative in English ambulance services: cross-sectional survey’.
The study, involving a research team from CaHRU including Viet-Hai Phung, Nadya Essam, Dr Zahid Asghar and Professor Niro Siriwardena together with Anne Spaight from East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust, explored clinical leadership and organisational culture and clinical engagement in quality improvement (QI) in the Ambulance Service Cardiovascular Quality Initiative, a QI collaborative involving all twelve ambulance services in England.
The study included a survey and qualitative analysis of free text responses from paramedics. Although paramedics perceived their organisations to have low levels of clinical leadership and culture of innovation overall, leadership behaviour and uptake of QI methods was significantly greater in those respondents who were directly involved in ASCQI. The QI collaborative led to significant improvements in prehospital care for acute myocardial infarction and stroke which may have been mediated through an improvement subculture linked to the QI collaborative.