Using AI to support Quality Improvement

We’ve just finished a piece of work with North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), using AI to support Quality Improvement. We really loved working with NWAS – every staff member we connected with is extraordinarily dedicated and talented, and it was inspiring to see how quickly they engaged with the idea of working from positives and strengths. 

Appreciative Inquiry has become an integral part of their Quality Improvement (QI) programme. So far, we’ve trained over 100 of their Quality Improvement (QI) Change Agents in Appreciative Inquiry and how it can help them to support change in the organisation. Their approach to QI is summed up in the image below, combining past experience with present and future effectiveness and safety to make sure they’re an organisation that is both reliable and always learning. That’s how they keep the people and communities they serve at the heart of their drive for quality.

Quality Improvement system - NWAS

Michelle Sutherland oversees the dispatch of urgent care vehicles and manages performance, with a focus on arrival times and other performance measures and thrives in this environment. She’s based in NWAS’s Liverpool control room. She says:

Appreciative Inquiry was a highlight for me. It opened my eyes to realise that doing more of what is already working, rather than focusing on fixing problems, is liberating. It also enabled me to realise that through the language we use, the questions we ask and the stories we tell collectively shape our own future direction of travel. I left that day feeling empowered and an overwhelming sense of positivity about myself and my ability.

Click here to download NWAS’s own QI change agents case study here.

NWAS are also very interested in the Learning from Excellence programme that we run, and I share information about this with their QI agents. The Model for Improvement they use was developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and includes thinking about what they are trying to accomplish, how they recognise improvement, and what changes will create improvement. You can see the model in the diagram on the right. 

Quality Improvement - Model for Improvement

The Model for Improvement has been developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

We’ve also done this work with other clients, including AQuA in 2015. They invited us to facilitate some training on Safety and AI, to introduce staff to key elements in the Charles Vincent Safety Framework. The 30 staff who attended got a lot out of it and set us all off on a journey of exploring more how AI can support safety. We’ve extended this work to consider how AI is an extremely appropriate philosophy to explore Safety II and how it supplements traditional Safety I practices – we’re just about to publish our own Learning from Excellence case study, so remember to check the AP site…