Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Systems Analysis and Quality Improvement Scientific Techniques

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Health Services Management

DESCRIPTION This study-unit equips students with the tools required to undergo systems analysis and quality improvement scientific techniques. It features face-to-face lectures and tutorials in small groups. Additionally, students will be provided with hands on sessions on how to apply quality improvement scientific techniques. This study-unit therefore introduces the principles and core methodology of industrial quality improvement methods with special reference to those which may be applicable to health services.

The study-unit will focus on clinical audit as a key healthcare quality improvement method, but also look at other data-driven methods as in many instances these are more fitting and complementary to clinical audit, by reviewing wider systems for assurance and improvement and offering solutions.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of the study-unit is to equip students to understand how they may be able to improve the quality, reliability and safety of services and then sustain excellence of performance in their own practice through the application of tried and tested methods to achieve system change and the engagement of staff. This study-unit also aims to help students understand the processes and systems within the organisation – particularly the patient pathway – and whether these can be simplified.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- apply principles of industrial quality improvement to healthcare settings;
- interpret systems theory;
- critically appraise process mapping and visibility;
- critique human/technology interactions;
- evaluate the measurement of process and outcome;
- interpret the PDCA (plan-do-check-act) cycle;
- apply "lean thinking" and Six Sigma;
- design continuous performance monitoring methods;
- predict and analyze methods for identifying risk in systems; and
- apply incident reporting systems.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- apply and present the principles of systems analysis and quality improvement scientific techniques by preparing through a case study by choosing a specific healthcare setting that they are familiar with; and
- critically analyse a number of safety alerts in a 2 hour analysis task.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Vincent, C. (2001). Clinical Risk Management. 2nd Edition, BMJ Books, London.
- Vincent, C. (2010). Patient Safety. Wiley Books, London.
- Waterson, P. (Ed.). (2018). Patient safety culture: theory, methods and application. CRC Press.

Supplementary Reading:

- Braithwaite, J. (2018). Changing how we think about healthcare improvement. BMJ, 361, k2014.
- Flin, R., O'Connor, P., Crichton, M. (2008). Safety at the Sharp End: A Guide to Non-Technical Skills. Ashgate, Hampshire.
- O'Donohue, W., & Maragakis, A. (Eds.). (2016). Quality improvement in behavioral health. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland.
- Øvretveit J. (2009). Does improving quality save money? A review of the evidence of which improvements to quality reduce costs to health service providers. Health Foundation, London.
- Reynard, J., Renolds, J., & Stevenson, P. (2009). In Practical Patient Safety. OUP, Oxford.
- Vincent, C, Amalberti, R (2016) Safer Healthcare: Strategies for the Real World. Springerlink openaccess.
- Waterson, P. (Ed.). (2014). Patient safety culture: theory, methods and application. Ashgate, Hampshire.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Ind Study, Group Learning and Tutorials

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (15 Minutes) SEM1 Yes 20%
Analysis Task SEM1 Yes 40%
Case Study (Take Home) SEM1 Yes 40%

LECTURER/S Hugo Agius Muscat
Stephen Agius
Dustin Balzan
Charles Borg
Sandra Buttigieg (Co-ord.)
James Clark
Cecilia Falzon
Kenneth E. Grech
Ingrid Magro
Patricia Vella Bonanno

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.