Last year, spring 2020, we saw a number of Trusts pause standard QI practices due to the COVID19 pandemic. Of course this was absolutely the right thing to do. However we noticed that whilst some teams stopped collecting data in the QSUS software, the level of quality seemed to drop off in the dashboard graphs.
It is unclear why this might be.
Was it because staff were focused on caring for lots of very sick people?
Was it the actual or perceived changes to priorities?
Or was it that the lack of focus led to lapses in quality?
One thing we do know is that as staff returned to monitoring and measuring their data, despite the ongoing pandemic, the levels of quality returned.
Using data for change requires:
regular and consistent approaches to data collection
effective data presentation over time
access to information in real time
staff having a good understanding of QI methods to ensure systematic improvements take place in a timely manner