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New research project into quality improvement in practice

08 March 2019, at 3:34pm

Members of the veterinary profession are encouraged to offer their views as part of a major research project – launched 8 March – assessing current perceptions and adoption of quality improvement (QI).

Commissioned by RCVS Knowledge and carried out by RAND Europe, the research will provide invaluable insight into the drivers, barriers and expectations associated with QI, with the ultimate goal of strengthening the support provided to the profession.

“We are delighted to be launching this research project with RAND Europe,” said Chris Gush, Executive Director of RCVS Knowledge.

“We know that many of our colleagues across the profession have embedded quality improvement into their practice to great benefit, while we are also aware that it can be a challenge to do so all of the time.

“This research will provide an unprecedented body of evidence on the experiences and perceptions of QI, which will be critical to how we work to support the sector in this area going forward.”

Integral to the research is a profession-wide survey, open now. You can access it here.

Relevant to everyone involved in veterinary care, no matter their familiarity with the concept of quality improvement, the survey will be live for six weeks, closing early April. The survey takes around ten minutes to complete, with one lucky winner claiming a £150 Amazon voucher. Responses will be anonymised.

The survey will capture the amount of time spent on quality improvement activities; the sources of QI training, tools and resources used by professionals; the profession’s general feelings about the effect of QI on veterinary care; as well as other data related to QI uptake.

Top-level survey findings, in addition to those from interviews and focus groups, will form a landscape assessment of QI in the profession.

This assessment will be fed in to a summit organised by RCVS Knowledge – The National Summit for Supporting Quality Improvement in Veterinary Care 2019 – which will bring together key policy makers and influencers across the industry. The intention of the summit will be to set the foundations for a future framework designed to enhance the ease with which veterinary professionals can take up and maintain continuous quality improvement.

It is the first time research of this scale into QI in the animal healthcare industry has been carried out.

Head of Evaluation at RAND Europe, Dr Tom Ling, who has led on a number of comparative projects for the Health Foundation, said:

“This groundbreaking project with RCVS Knowledge aims to explore in depth whether more formal processes of quality improvement would be a useful addition to the routine methods that many members of the profession already use to constantly improve the quality of care they provide.

“I aim to bring my knowledge of QI developments in human health to this project, but the most important contribution will be the views and experiences of the veterinary profession to ensure our proposals are relevant to your circumstances.”