PIPS: Learning Session 1


Improvement coach, Laura Jackman, reviews the first learning session for Practices Improving Processes in Salford, otherwise known as PIPS.

Stuart Clough, PIPS Programme Manager, launched the first learning session for the PIPS programme where we attempt a deep dive into the tools that the GP practices will be using throughout the programme.

One of the aims of the PIPS Programme is to build relationships that enable effective partnership working and what better way to start that then with an icebreaker! Each person was given a coin and asked to describe a personal key event from the year the coin was produced. We learnt some interesting facts about the other participants and with everyone suitably warmed up, we started the day.

One of PIPS improvement coaches, Ben Morris, gave the room a recap on everything the practices and Haelo had been up to since the launch event in July. Ben touched on the regular visits Haelo had been having with the teams and how keen they were to get going on their improvement journeys.

It was then the turn of Kurt Bramfitt, Senior Improvement Advisor, to reintroduce the methodology the practices will be using in order to get started on those improvement journeys. He spoke about how the Model for Improvement and Lean methodologies can add rigour and structure to their projects, and showed a case study film around the work of Dr Jeremy Tankel to highlight the importance of using the methodology.

Then we moved on to the main event of the day; the tools! This part of the day gets into the nitty gritty of Lean and the tools the attendees will introduce to their practices, with some real world, tongue in cheek examples. Each of our expert team of improvement coaches introduced one of the five key areas of Lean methodology and helped the attendees apply these processes to real world problems.

Ben led with Process Mapping, teaching teams to map out how they make a cup of tea – which led to a heated discussion around whether the inclusion of a biscuit should be standard in this process. It was then over to me to coach teams to implement 6S methodology applying what they have learnt to a work cupboard containing Top Secret documents. The exercise was a lot of fun and the attendees seem to really grasp the methodology. Stuart Clough then came back to preach the benefits of asking ‘why?’ in the form of Five Whys, asking teams to dig deeper in to the root causes of some of the issues in the practice. Spaghetti Diagrams were up next, led by Data Analyst Alex Buckley, who used a map of a kitchen to highlight flow when making a cup of tea, luckily avoiding the biscuit-gate. Last but not least, Kurt returned to walk teams through PDSAs, through a tennis ball game, highlighting how useful it is to record the improvement work you are doing.

Teams heard about the importance of data and how it relates back to the model for improvement and Lean methodology; how do we know that a change is an improvement? The attendees were introduced to the importance of data over time and how measurement for improvement differs to a lot of the data we see in healthcare. To finish, and to show attendees how easy it was to get involved with data, Alex got them to play a game that involved players making their own run charts.

As the event drew to a close, teams were reminded to make use of their expert Haelo faculty members who will be visiting practices and of their next steps as they go into action period one; to confirm their team, think about their system and the data they may want to collect and to start using the tools we explored at this event. The second learning session will be held in November – we’ll be sure to keep you posted!

What do you think?

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