Quality improvement frameworks
Quality improvement (QI) includes "all actions taken throughout the organization to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of activities and processes in order to provide added benefits to both the organization and its customers". In other words QI helps ensure that programs and services continue to improve, innovate and evolve, contributing to optimal outcomes. There is a broad collection of structured frameworks and approaches that can be used to tackle the improvement of systems and their specific processes.
Many QI models and approaches originated in the manufacturing sector and have since been adapted and applied to the health and social service sectors. The most common QI frameworks in healthcare are the Model for Improvement and those that fall under Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma. The Strengths-Based Lean Six Sigma approach is particularly well suited to work in the child and youth mental health context, given its strengths-based and solution-focused orientation. It uses an appreciative inquiry lens, focused largely on aspects of the system that we want to enhance (rather than focusing on things we need to “fix”).
Each of these approaches has been used across healthcare settings to improve client outcomes, increase client satisfaction, reduce operating costs, strengthen financial performance, enhance employee engagement, design spaces and places, and contribute to the client and family-centered care movement.