1st Edition

Problem Solving for Healthcare Workers How to Get Better - Lessons Can Be Learned

By John Michael Collins Copyright 2018
    266 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    266 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    268 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

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    While most healthcare facilities have an extremely high success rate at the most challenging lifesaving work and we all know of friends and relatives who have had supreme care, mistakes are still made and patients’ lives have been put at risk and lost.

    How often have we heard politicians say after some disastrous report, "Lessons must be learned", but what does this really mean. Will responsible parties carry out a careful cause and effect analysis and methodically get to the root causes of the problem? Will sufficient steps be taken to permanently eradicate those causes and provide a permanent solution so that the problem will not reoccur? This is what is done in the aviation industry with the result that air travel is very safe. The low accident rate is achieved by studying the causes and using the methods of continuous improvement explained in this book. These methods are now becoming better known in the medical profession have been recommended in recent reports but are perhaps misunderstood at operational levels.

    This book is a basic level manual for those who have never been involved in any form of quality improvement project and is also suitable as a refresher for anyone wishing to familiarize themselves with the various techniques discussed. The aim of this book is to explain what continuous improvement is and why it’s needed; explain how individual departments can explain how and why continuous improvement is important, and helps readers recognize quality control methods in their own workplace and understand how to contribute to existing continuous improvement activities. While many of the case studies and examples are from the NHS, the author includes similar examples from around the world.

    Foreword; Preface; Prologue; Chapter 1: How lessons are learned; Chapter 2: Recent Reports; Chapter 3: 1% better at a 1000 things; Chapter 4: Be inspired: innovation throughout history; Chapter 5: Quality, Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement; Chapter 6: Dealing with complaints; Chapter 7: Work processes, critical paths and the chain of quality; Chapter 8: Continuous improvement processes; Chapter 9: Getting started: where are you now?; Chapter 10: Quality improvement in small medical practices; Chapter 11: The problem solving processes: putting right what has gone wrong; Chapter 12: Step 1: recognizing a problem exists; Chapter 13: Step 2: understanding and defining the problem; Chapter 14: Step 3: identifying the root causes; Chapter 15: Step 4: removing the root causes; Chapter 16: Step 5: proving a permanent solution has been applied; Chapter 17: Step 6: closing the project and celebrating success; Chapter 18: Other methods to use; Chapter 19: Selecting and prioritizing projects; Chapter 20: Multiple project management; Epilogue


    Michael Collins, an industrial technologist and a past Fellow of the Institute of Quality Assurance, has spent thirty years advising businesses to make Improvements in Quality, Customer Service and overall efficiency. He is currently Principal of JM Collins and Associates a consulting firm specializing in standard setting, process improvement and the use of customer feedback to raise company and staff performance.

    He has advised many blue chip companies and national corporations on the application of sound quality principles when working as a Management Consultant with Price Waterhouse, now PWC.

    In his time as a Management Consultant he has shown over fifty businesses how to achieve certification to the relevant Quality System Standard. He has also helped many large organizations implement Total Quality continuous improvement programs.

    "This is an interesting and well written text that I feel would be useful to a wide variety of people, either as an introduction to the concept and practice of "continuous improvement and problem solving" or as a handy and effective revision."

    Pam Dyson, freelance consultant, qualified accountant and Chartered Manager

    "As I highlighted in my 2008 report ‘High Quality Care for All’ – Quality of Care must be a priority for all Healthcare Professionals in order to improve patient outcomes. This book emphasises the need for continuous quality improvement and gives readers a guide how to initiate making these improvements at work."

    Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, OM, KBE, PC, FRS. 

    "This book presents a practical and refreshing approach to patient safety and continuous improvement in patient care. It will help practitioners reflect on how they can remove the obstacles that sometimes prevent them from doing what they want to do: deliver high-quality and safe patient care. It has helpful tools and practical applications for individuals and teams to enable them to work together to review their services and to identify where root problems might exist." "I sincerely believe this book should be a compulsory read for all trainees across all professions."

    Monica Fletcher OBE, MSc, PGCE, BSc (Hons,) DipN, DipHV. 

    "After 35 years working in general practice, in medical education and as a medical politician, I recognise the value of a system to enable doctors and practices to make improvements based on patient experience. This readable book shows how this can be achieved in a simple straightforward manner. Every medical practice should have a copy." 

    Dr Richard Brook, MBChB, FRCGP, (retired); ex chair Cheshire Local Medical Committee, Course Organiser for the Mersey Deanery.

    "The book sets out what it intended to do and covers all the key areas around improvement and standards. It is a good read and well laid out...I really enjoyed reading it and learnt a lot"

    Peter Brennan MD, FRCS (Eng), FRCSI, Hon FRCS (Glasgow), FFST RCS(Ed), FDSRCS