How do we really teach Improvement Science?

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Haelo Project Manager Jess Roberts reviews our Improvement Science for Leaders (IS4L) and Improvement Science for Academics (IS4Ac) Workshop 2 held at the Imperial War Museum North and Haelo HQ.

This month we welcomed back sixteen IS4 teams to Salford Quays for Workshop 2 of the Improvement Science course. It’s been four months since we last all met face to face at learning session one, and we are excited to see how the teams have been progressing with their improvement projects.

Dedicated Ward Pharmacy IS4L team from East Lancs

The focus of the second Improvement Science workshops is measurement and data. Teams have already begun to collect data and have brought this along for use in practical sessions. First, after refuelling, we began IS4Ac with an introduction from Haelo’s Senior Fellow Maxine Power, who talked about Rogers Diffusion of Innovation and how to engage people with their projects.

Everett. M. Rogers

For both workshops, we were joined by IS4 alumni John Moore, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and Mike Taylor, Project Manager, Intestinal Failure Unit , Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, who updated the teams on their successful and ongoing projects that were born out of the IS4 course.

Our expert speaker was data and statistics expert Mohammed Mohamed. After introducing the idea of variation, Mohammed demonstrated the importance of understanding common cause variation using a fun red bead game. Here, our willing workers must dip a notched tray into a box of blue and red beads, only picking up blue beads.

Haelo data expert, Nick John, charted the results and we see that no incentive or punishment system improves on the amount of blue beads that are collected: this is variation inherent in the system and not in our control!

Each team presented on their progress, sharing their successes and their challenges with the cohort. There are common themes emerging: time is short and teams are reliant on people outside of the project to engage in their work, but all the teams have started to run tests of change and have experienced some learning moments already.

IS4 coach Bob Diepeveen lends a hand to IS4Ac teams working on their data


We will continue to support teams through the next action period with Webex seminars and site visits from our expert coaches. The IS4 cohort comes together for the final time in February and March 2018.

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