#QiComms - the importance of communications in quality improvement

The Danish Society for Patient Safety has more than ten years of experience with improvement programs and campaigns in the Danish healthcare sector.

Communications has been build in as an important part of these programs to ensure awareness, spread ideas and motivate participants.

Together with improvement organisations in other countries the Danish Society for Patient Safety has formed the #QiComms Group to promote the use of communications tools in quality improvement. More

Celebrating a great result. The ICU at Kolding Hospital celebrates 300 days without a central line-associated bloodstream infection.  Celebrations help boost motivation and commitment according to the surveys among employees.

A total of 221 participants from the 18 municipalities involved in the In Safe Hands project responded in a questionnaire on the importance of communications initiatives.

New survey: Communications promote will for improvement in elderly care

Celebrating your successes and results – and having them mentioned in the media – act as drivers for improvement in municipal health services, according to a new questionnaire survey on the effect of communication in the In Safe Hands project. The survey was carried out in the summer of 2018.

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#QiComms Charter

CEO of the Danish Society for Patient Safety, Inge Kristensen, was one of the first to sign up to ‘The #QiComms Charter’, aiming at making strategic communications an essential part of improvement.

The Charter was launched at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare May 2, 2018.

The Charter invites all quality improvement leaders to recognize the strategic role that communications play in improvement and integrate it into their work.

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Inge Kristensen, CEO, Danish Society for Patient Safety:
Communication is a key part of the leadership role as it contributes to building will, to mobilizing staff, and to the overall reputation of the organisation you represent.  

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Improvement organisations sign up to The #QiComms Charter from across the world

Over 50 healthcare improvement organisations from across the world have signed up to The #QiComms Charter since it was launched at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare in Amsterdam last month.

“It has been encouraging to see the positive way in which the Charter has been received,” said Inge Kristensen, CEO of the Danish Society for Patient Safety. She was one of the first CEO’s to sign the Charter.

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We will plan our #QiComms from the start - Charter principle 2

It is important to include communications from the very start of an improvement program. That’s what principle 2 in the #QiComms Charter is about.

Read the blog by Frits Bredal, Head of Communication, Danish Society for Patient Safety

Survey: Communications boost the will for improvement

Experiences from Danish improvement programs show that an active communications strategy – including internal media as well as the public press – stimulate the improvement process.

Surveys among front line and quality staff show that positive media coverage increases job satisfaction, professional pride, and boosts the motivation to continuously work towards improvement.

A proactive media- and communications strategy, therefore, in several ways contribute to build further will and spread ideas for improvement.

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Days since last pressure ulcer in the ward. The communications surveys show that transparent data act as a motivational factor. This is true weather the data show positive or negative result.

Six steps for communications with impact

1000 Lives Improvement in Wales recently published ”Six steps for communications with impact”, a guide for improvement teams and front line staff on how to use communications.

This animation illustrates six steps steps providing a starting point to develop a strategy to support improvement work.

Wales has experience from the Campaign Lives, launched in 2008 by, NHS Wales. And communications has been prioritized in the Welsh improvement work.
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A driverdiagram for communications

From the beginning, communications were build in as an important part of the improvement program In Safe Hands to ensure awareness, spread ideas and motivate participants.

Aims for communications were outlined, and a driver diagram designed – describing how to work towards these aims.

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Every month the best improvement idea or improvement story is celebrated in Sønderborg Municipality as a part of the program In Safe Hands.

Using stories in improvement work

Tellings stories is a powerful tool in improvement work. Unlike facts and data, stories directly affect emotions, and therefore are able to create motivation.

Stories can be about patients harmed by for instance a pressure ulcer, or they can be stories about pressure ulcers or other harm, that were prevented.

Another way of using storytelling is presenting staff as highly competent health care professionals.

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The celebration checklist

When you are working with improvement, it is important to celebrate milestones and successes. Experiences from improvement programs in hospitals and in the primary care show that celebrations contribute to create joy in work and motivation for further improvement.

The celebration checklist

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How to use the media to drive improvement

If you are a healthcare professional you might think that journalists and communications people are strange or even scary, and that contact with the media is awkward and not part of your job.

But actually the media can be a very useful and effective tool if you are working with improvement and patient safety.

Read the blog

Communications tools are effective as drivers for improvement

A survey among participants in a large improvement programme in the Danish municipalities

Celebration of success and positive media mentions act as drivers for improvement in the primary care sector. This is the conclusion after a survey among participants in the programme “In Safe Hands”. The programme started in five Danish municipalities in 2013, and is currently being spread to another 13 municipalities. The programme introduces improvement methods in the primary care.

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Frits Bredal

Kommunikationschef

Head of Communications

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(+45) 29476704

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