Quality Improvement Committee sounds serious. Indeed it is. It deals with critical cases and looks for ways to improve outcomes for future patients. Also, statistics are examined to give information on the occurrence rate of events that might lead to improvement in patient care.
Every institution or company hoping to improve should include a quality improvement program. This is especially true for Medical Institutions. That doesn’t happen on its own. To avoid complacency, an engaged group of people takes responsibility to identify weakness and implement improvement.
The Żywiec Hospital has set up such a Committee. It is tasked with identifying areas requiring improvement. This is done by analyzing circumstances surrounding all deaths, near misses and individual unit system review.
The Quality Improvement Committee meets regularly (at least quarterly). Its core members represent medical staff from most wards of the hospital. It regularly invites other staff to attend its meeting.
What is our obligation to this committee? It is an activity to which each of us can contribute. Every patient care unit will be asked to examine and analyze important, or sentinel, events. When we observe an improvement potential we can approach the committee. The committee can then use this help to prevent any unnecessary risk-involving situations. We cannot prevent 100% of bad events, but if our observations lead to a decreased risk it is well worth it.
The meetings during the Quality Committee give an opportunity for the doctors from different units to meet and discuss the difficult cases. They will be able to share their knowledge and experience.
Worth mentioning is the fact that the Quality Committee is required by the Polish Accreditation Standards. The New Hospital in Żywiec will be applying for Accreditation. This award requires hard work and changes but is definitely worth aspiring to.
The Quality Committee does not exist to blame someone for mistakes. It is a committee that learns from bad outcomes and takes action to avoid them in the future. Learning is always a process – to make things better we should do that eagerly. To work and be treated in a hospital focused on patient safety is crucial. Thanks to the hard work of the new Quality Improvement Committee we are on the way to achieving a first-rate hospital.