ISTEW Project

  • The ISTEW end of project conference took place in Alicante on 2-4 September 2015.
    The project team were able to share progress to date and present

    • Four new accredited evidence informed healthcare improvement science modules
    • A new consensus definition of Healthcare Improvement Science
    • The evidence on the specific nature of Healthcare Improvement Science in seven European countries
    • The current state of Healthcare Improvement Science education in seven European countries
    • A framework to evaluate the impact of education on practice

    All these sessions and more were streamed live. The abstracts and powerpoint presentations are now available here

  • The aim of ISTEW is to develop shared academic and practice based programmes that enable European universities to build improvement capacity and capability within their own healthcare workforce. Educators have a vital role to play in supporting providers in building capability and capacity in the healthcare workforce to support the delivery of quality healthcare.

    We have been working on a number of key activities. Our research suggested there were many and varied definitions for Healthcare Improvement Science (HIS) so our first priority was to reach a shared understanding of HIS so we had a clear basis to inform the design of the educational materials. The project has now developed a definition of Healthcare Improvement Science. Known as the ‘Bled’ definition we defined HIS as 

    “Healthcare Improvement Science is the generation of knowledge to cultivate change and deliver person-centred care that is safe, effective, efficient, equitable and timely. It improves patient outcomes, health system performance and population health.”

    ISTEW, Bled 2014

    This definition was developed through a modified policy Delphi process that involved 15 experts from each of the 7 partner countries followed by a consensus group involving representatives from all partner countries. We hope it adds some value to the way in which HIS is defined.

    We have also undertaken a review of the literature regarding the experience of improvement science and its specific nature in different EU countries. The findings are perhaps no surprise given that this is a developing field. The findings will be discussed in forthcoming articles the team are currently working on. We will update you as these are published.

    We also reviewed the competency and capability requirements and the available education and training for healthcare professionals working in Europe. All of this work has been analysed and has identified significant gaps in the current educational provision at undergraduate, postgraduate and specialisation levels of education. These findings will inform the development of four new modules that will be structured and designed in order that they can be embedded into existing programmes of study at the appropriate academic level in various languages and formats so they can be delivered across all partner countries.

    Our interim reports were submitted for external expert assessment and our global score was 80%, we used the feedback to strengthen and fulfil the goals of the project. If you would like to find out more you can read the public interim report.

    Year two has focussed on the development of four modules: systems thinking, models for improvement, measurement for improvement and communications and managing change. These are in the final stages of their development and have been validated by the lead partner, UWS. We have also been developing an evaluation framework that will allow all partners to evaluate the impact the learning from the modules has on and in practice over time.

    The European Lifelong Learning Erasmus programme for multilateral projects funded this two year project. Seven European HEIs are involved; University of the West of Scotland (UWS) who are the lead partner, University of Alicante, Spain, University of Economics and Innovation, Lublin, Poland, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Gr T Popa” Iasi, Romania, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, University of Coventry, England and Faculty of Healthcare, Jesenice, Slovenia.

    The partners met in Alicante in September this year, the meeting provided an opportunity for partners to share progress to date. All partners presented their findings and the presentations were streamed live. Some of the team are pictured below. Top left: Time Duffy, Barbara O’Donnell, Kevin Rooney, Manuel Lillo Crespo, Monika Baryla Matejzuck, Radu Crisan, Julita Sansoni, Laura Smochina, Traian Mihaescu. Next row: Alan Taylor, Jacek Lis,. Next row: Maria Martinez, Miriam SanSegundo. Next row: Rhoda MacRae, Magdalena Glowacka, Alan Taylor, Katrina Ritters, Ioana Margineau, Andy Carson- Stevens, Brigita Skela-Savic and Anna Rita Marucci.

    Istew

     Aim

    To develop shared academic and practice based programmes that enable European universities to build improvement capability and capacity within their own healthcare workforce, through engagement with students based on an agreed scope of practice, essential knowledge base, and improvement science competence across partner countries. 

    Objectives
    • To develop a definition for Healthcare Improvement Science based on a systematic review of current practice across partner countries. 
    • To clarify competency and capability requirements for Healthcare Improvement Science including establishment of an inter-country consensus on academic level. 
    • To review available education/training in partner countries. 
    • To develop module materials suitable for flexible delivery to all healthcare professionals at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in a range of European languages. 
    • To develop a programme theory to ensure that we remain focused on our objectives and vision. 
    • To develop an evaluation framework including a minimum data set (e.g. key demographic drivers). 
    • To incorporate the requirement to complete a quality improvement project into each programme developed. 
    • To develop staff within European universities capable of mentoring students, providing consultation on their improvement projects and capable of collaboration with clinicians in their partner healthcare institutions. 
    • To provide resources that can be used in education and training to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care. 
    • To provide resources that can be used in education and training to further the development of healthcare professionals with the necessary skills and techniques to provide cost effective practice with the appropriate utilisation of facilities and resources. 
    • To provide a framework for appropriate ethical and moral decision-making. 
     
     
    The project has now developed a clear definition of Healthcare Improvement Science. The ‘Bled’ definition is “Healthcare Improvement Science is the generation of knowledge to cultivate change and deliver person-centred care that is safe, effective, efficient, equitable and timely. It improves patient outcomes, health system performance and population health.”

    This definition was developed through a modified policy Delphi process that involved 15 experts from each of the 7 partner countries followed by a focus group involving representatives from all partner countries.

    A review of the scientific evidence regarding the experience in improvement science and its specific nature in different EU countries has been completed.

    The competency and capability requirements for healthcare professional working in Europe has been clarified

    A review of the available education and training for healthcare professionals working in Europe has been carried out

    All of this work is now being analysed to identify gaps in educational provision that require the development of new education and learning materials.
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