Resources for trainees, consultants and other healthcare professionals planning to undertake Quality Improvement project

Start with Quality improvement made simple to quickly get grips with QI approach, underlying principles and how to apply them to your improvement work, Available from:

Quality improvement made simple
What everyone should know about health care quality improvement by The Health Foundation

Use the King’s Improvement Science resource to help you formulate ideas for feasible and more impactful collaborative Quality Improvement projects design to be conducted over a period of weeks or months. Available from: 

Step 1: KIS introduction to quality improvement

Step 2: KIS guidance for deciding what to improve and assessing the feasibility of a Quality Improvement project

Step 3: KIS template for planning and evaluating QI project

Ready to report and share with others your improvement, use the SQUIRE guidelines which stands for Standards for QUality Improvement Reporting Excellence. The SQUIRE guidelines provide a framework for reporting new knowledge about how to improve healthcare’. Available from: SQUIRE

Tips for a successful QI Project

be clear and focused. Use SMART goals; specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-specific). Use a simple, systematic approach to plan your QI approach such as The Model for Improvement (MFI) which helps you define:

  • what you want to accomplish;
  • what change(s) you are planning to make;
  • and what you are going to measure to know that any change has led to an improvement.

use a straightforward measuring process so there is no doubting the improvements you have made.

it’s important to know the baseline activity before you start so you have a number of points of comparison and keep measuring little and often. Two data points are not enough.

think right at the start about how this project will continue when you have moved on. It is important to be clear how your QI project fits with organisational aims and the benefits for staff as well as patients.  Identify a successor to take the project forward, working with continued senior support and ensure an established process for continued measurement is in place.


think early on about how you might involve others Identify who you will ask to help you. You need supportive senior engagement, (generally a consultant / manager). It is a good idea to undertake the project as a group, particularly involving the wider multidisciplinary team. 

Articulate your vision and try to find the hook that makes them want to get involved as well. For example, what new skills may be acquired and the rewards for participating, such as team recognition, CV boosting and leadership.

it is important to complete the project in a specified timeframe (usually over a 1-year training post) and maintain momentum. A project template should help chart your progress and keep you on track with regular check-ins with any supervisor. A team approach also helps with the data collection.

you may then test changes on a small-scale using Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles. Record your results, consider a run chart so you can see the changes taking place over time.


using the PDSA cycle as the framework for your project. Be clear about what was learnt, what worked and what didn’t. It is often easier to make incremental changes rather than lots at once.

write it up in the JCU (journal of Clinical Urology) , post it on the BAUS (The British Association of Urological Surgeons) website.

All you need is a SMART aim, PDSA cycles of small-scale changes and measure, measure, measure