When you commit to improving care for residents, you need to know that the changes you make are moving in the right direction. Good quality measurements will help you know, and be able to show, that you are making gains for them in terms of increasing quality and safety in person-centred care.
Measurement must happen before, during and after your improvement is implemented. The before results provide a baseline; the during results demonstrate progress and inform adjustments to your intervention; and your after measurements demonstrate whether the improvement has been successfully embedded within care home culture. Positive measurements provide the basis for rolling improvements out to other areas and provide you with a good argument to take forward and ‘sell’ your idea.
Before you implement a change or improvement to your services, doing an informal measure will help you:
- Understand what your service is currently doing – identify what needs to improve, prioritise improvement
- Benchmark, measure your baseline management to compare the impact of any changes you make
- Make good decisions about which changes to make and how to direct your future
- Gain support from stakeholders and help build your project plan.
- Once you have completed your baseline audit, identify what changes are required for improvement. Use the aims you identified as a group before you started alongside the results to inform your decisions. Set clear, specific and measurable goals. Check whether they are specific enough by asking yourselves if they are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
- As you implement your improvements using the PDSA format, track your progress by doing measurement along the way. This will act as a guide for analysing and reflecting on your interventions and inform the actions in your PDSA cycles.
- Each time you implement a new tool in an area involve enthusiastic individuals to do a baseline audit and continue to monitor its success by undertaking regular measurements. Celebrate successes and look into areas of concern to get things back on track.