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Improving Improvement

A toolkit for Engineering Better Care

 

How to become a Systems Leader

The pathway to systems leadership includes a number of steps, from increasing systems awareness through to attaining a level of mastery that is only achievable with considerable practical experience. This toolkit contains many of the elements necessary to complete these steps, especially when accompanied by programs of directed learning. The relationship between the toolkit and this journey provides insight into how the various elements of the toolkit can be used.

Systems Awareness comes from an understanding of the elements of a systems approach to health and care design and continuous improvement. The team that drafted the Engineering Better Care report, led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, worked with health and care professionals and engineers to capture this understanding through a series of questions relating to people, systems, design, risk and management perspectives on a systems approach. This cycle of questions encourages systems thinking and enables the first steps towards systems practice. Details of these questions may be found in the original Engineering Better Care report and in the Improvement Approach section of this toolkit.

Short courses to raise systems awareness can be provided by the Cambridge Engineering Design Centre and its partner organisations.

Systems Knowledge comes from learning how the elements of a systems approach to health and care design and continuous improvement can be applied to real challenges. The Improving Improvement Toolkit develops the principles described in the Engineering Better Care report in a practical guide for improvement, based on a set of improvement activities and associated tools. These situate the original questions, relating to people, systems, design, risk and management perspectives, within an iterative improvement process. Details of this process, including the Improvement Canvas, may be found in the Improvement Model section of this toolkit.

Systems Practice comes from the experience of applying the elements of a systems approach to health and care design and continuous improvement to a variety of real challenges. The Improving Improvement Toolkit provides guidance on a wide range of activities and tools which facilitate the delivery of an improvement process. These support all the stages of the improvement process, with particular focus on the development of a practical improvement plan. Details of these activities and tools, including the Stage Plan, may be found in the Improvement Stages and Improvement Resources sections of this toolkit.

Systems Leadership comes from knowledge and practice-based mastery of all the elements of a systems approach to health and care design and continuous improvement. The combination of extensive practical experience of systems improvement, knowledge of systems improvement approaches and successful leadership of improvement programmes is a mark of systems leadership.

Short Courses to increase systems knowledge, support systems practice and mentor systems leadership can be provided by the Cambridge Engineering Design Centre.

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