The inaugural Spreading Quality Improvement (SQI) Congress, held in June 2022 in Victoria BC, brought together physicians and healthcare leaders from across the province to learn, collaborate and explore topics related to scaling quality improvement in healthcare.
The event began by recognizing the two-year effort of the Specialist Services Committee (SSC) in developing the SQI initiative. The spirit of inspiration, innovation and celebration continued throughout the two-day event as participants heard from seasoned healthcare leaders and patient partners on their views and advice for spread. Rapid Fire Sessions highlighted the 18 spread initiatives underway in each health authority and attendees engaged in sharing ideas and discussion during project presentations.
Prominent keynote speakers shared their thoughts on spread. Dr Hsien Seow, Canada Research Chair in palliative care and health system innovation and Associate Professor at McMaster University, to share his experience and teachings leading multi-provincial quality improvement initiatives and developing quality indicators. In his keynote presentation, he encouraged healthcare leaders to:
- Remember the importance of language and storytelling when trying to influence health policy.
- Find their super-connectors or influencers and ask for their advice and help when trying to spread ideas because 3% of the population controls all the conversations.
- Take action and don’t get stuck in the planning stage of a project.
Dr Amar Shah, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist & Chief Quality Officer at East London NHS Foundation Trust and National Improvement Lead for mental health at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, delivered his keynote presentation virtually from London, England and shared his experience as a leader in the industry and enabler of a large-scale quality improvement infrastructure and quality management system. He also highlighted the ways in which quality improvement has been utilized during the pandemic, but how its unfortunately reverted back to command and control structures. A few of his ingredients for successful spread included:
- Make the location feel like an intervention is their own idea and support them as champions in their work – don’t take the interventions from one place, and place them in another.
- Be prepared and design for scale at the very beginning.
- Create a data collection system and use the data to guide your decision making.
When it was the Deputy Minister of Health, Stephen Brown’s, turn to speak, he recognized the strong efforts of the 18 spread project teams and the great work that SSC is supporting for system improvement. He further shared examples of the “wicked problems” the healthcare system is battling and highlighted the importance of working together and collaborating with partners as we face these challenges and overcome them.
The SQI Congress was made possible by funding from the Physician Master Agreement (PMA), SSC, and the Joint Collaborative Committees, a partnership between Doctors of BC and the BC government. It was successful in showcasing the scalable improvements possible in BC healthcare collaboratively with patients, frontline staff, and healthcare leaders. Attendees left inspired to deepen their commitment to quality improvement and to strengthen the culture needed to support strong outcomes.
QI projects that are complete or in progress can be found on the SSC Exchange.