post marks the first in a series about how quality standards can be used to
support quality improvement together with others who are working on adopting
the quality standards. The introductory post can be found
quality standards requires willingness, planning and leadership. At Ontario
Shores, we are very fortunate to have full support from our CEO and Board
members, who a while ago identified the development of a high quality
technology platform as a key enabler to implement these Quality Standards.
In order to
implement the quality standards, we had to plan and develop processes. We knew
we had several great programs and initiatives in place already, and would not
necessarily have to start from scratch to align with the quality statements
included in the quality standards. However at the same time, we realized that
identifying the gaps related to the statements in the Quality Standards would
give us direction and would allow us to focus our efforts. At that point, we
came up with a “three bucket” strategy (see figure below).
These three buckets are: “Measurement changes”, “Technology enablers” and “Service change”.
1. Measurement changes refers to all of the initiatives that we were already implementing, but needed to demonstrate their effectiveness through the use of data and measurement; these initiatives did not need any additional resources to meet the goals mentioned in the Quality Standard statements.
2. Technology enablers were those items that we were not sure if we needed to have an individualized management strategy; these included initiatives that require adequate supporting technology to achieve the required consistency.
3. Service Changes (and this is the “really heavy lifting”) were the processes that required a real, substantial, change that typically requires an organization to be open to new approaches as well as additional resources, such as in the case of psychotherapy that is currently being discussed.
What really helped our organization was to go through the standard, statement by statement, and determine in which of the three buckets each statement would fall under. Once we had all these mapped out, we were in a position to set up and establish our priorities. My advice to other organizations would be to think carefully about what kinds of “buckets” would be most applicable to them, and will help to clarify what areas to focus on.
Link to my presentation on Quality Standards: