RCPI Quality Improvement Department

About us

Our mission in the RCPI Quality Improvement department is to build quality improvement capability in the Irish healthcare system by providing healthcare professionals with the skills to make lasting improvements in their workplace.

Healthcare workers who have trained with us have seen theory and methodology translate into tangible, measurable outcomes such as quicker access to care, fewer adverse events, cost savings, reduced length of stay and more prudent use of resources.

What we offer

We have developed a wide range of Quality Improvement (QI) educational programmes, which are outlined below.

Dr Eoin Fitzgerald, Quality Improvement Scholar in Residence 2018 - 2019

Diploma in Leadership and Quality in Healthcare

Launched in 2011, the jointly led hugely popular one year diploma programme that has been developed by the HSE and RCPI teaches participants how to formulate and lead quality improvement initiatives in the workplace. It is designed for senior healthcare professionals and managers.

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Diploma in Quality for Community Care

This Diploma has been designed for frontline healthcare professionals in the Community Healthcare Organisations.

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Quality Improvement Scholar in Residence

Developed by RCPI and the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua), this scholarship helps trainee doctors develop into clinical leaders by providing them with expert support and bespoke training over the course of one academic year.

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Working together to achieve improvements: Multidisciplinary collaboratives

Healthcare collaboratives involve teams and individuals from different health disciplines and settings, such as hospitals, residential settings and primary care teams, working together in partnership to achieve improvements and reach an agreed goal of high quality, safe, standardised care.

Some of the collaboratives we are currently running are outlined below.

Situation Awareness for Everyone (SAFE)

This collaborative improvement programme was originally developed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in the UK to support clinical teams to improve communication, build a safety based culture and deliver better outcomes for children and young people.

The SAFE programme includes Quality Improvement theory, situation awareness methodology and planning of safety huddles on the wards. It has been implemented in over 50 teams across the UK and the Quality Improvement Department of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland is delighted to bring this initiative to Ireland.

Acute Stroke Collaborative

The Acute Stroke Collaborative set out to reduce the time from when a patient arrives at hospital with FAST positive symptoms (stroke symptoms) to decision on treatment time.

We are currently running the second cohort of this collaborative. A total of 20 teams from hospital sites across the country are participating in this collaborative.

The results so far are very encouraging. One team has achieved an incredible 47% reduction in door (patient arriving) to decision (on treatment) time.

COPD Collaborative

The COPD Collaborative is funded by the Health Service Executive (HSE), sponsored by the COPD National Clinical Programme and delivered by RCPI.

COPD is currently the fourth leading cause of death in Ireland and it is estimated that there are upwards of 500,000 people with the disease. Ireland has the highest rate of admission for COPD in the OECD with marked variation evident in hospital performance. Hospital-level data suggests that patients admitted with exacerbations of COPD are not reliably receiving evidence-based and person-centred care.

The National COPD Improvement Collaborative is in its early stages. However, at this point, liaison with improvement teams (through site visits and remotely) indicates that QI methodology is being used effectively to generate improvements at all stages of the patient journey, through site specific changes.

Bespoke QI Training Programmes

We regularly provide bespoke training to hospital managers and clinicians in primary and community services.

Intensive bespoke training can be delivered to a large number of people in one institution to expand quality improvement capability across the board.

Recently we ran a number of bespoke Quality Improvement in Action programmes and QI Train the Trainer programmes with the Saolta Hospital group.

The overall aim of delivering these training programmes is to build capacity locally so that staff can start delivering their own QI training initatives and coach local QI projects within a hospital group.

See how we’re making a difference

Here are just some of the improvements made to the health service in Ireland, thanks to the Diploma in Leadership and Quality in Healthcare.

Project title: Reduction in unnecessary admissions to a paediatric ward using an ambulatory model of care

  • This project team reduced unnecessary admissions to hospital from 22% to below 5% over a nine-month period.
  • They achieved a 50% reduction in the number of children with length of stay less than one night, with significant estimated cost savings of €49,784 over a four-month period.
  • They also achieved a patient satisfaction rating of more than 93%.

Project title: Breast MRI Waiting List Improvement Initiative

  • This project team increased capacity by 300% and reduced the waiting time from greater than 18 months to within two months.
  • 94% of breast MRI patients in this hospital now have a scheduled appointment, compared to less than 5% before the project began.
  • Turnaround time has also been improved with a reduction of 122 days and is continuing to reduce.

Project title: Why are we waiting??

  • This project team reduced the waiting times for access to pulmonary rehabilitation service from 22.4 months to 4.3 months

Project title: Good to Go: The Introduction of Nurse Led Discharge

  • This project team achieved sustained reductions in delays for patients with gastroenteritis awaiting discharge from 120 minutes to 35 minutes.
  • Another positive result was seen in time to discharge patients by doctors.

Diploma in Leadership and Quality in Healthcare Book of Abstracts 2016 - 2018

Read abstracts outlining projects undertaken by graduates of the Diploma from 2016-2018

Get in touch

If you would like to speak to a member of the RCPI Quality Improvement team, please get in touch!

Rachel Quinn

Programme Coordinator, Quality Improvement

Tel: 01 8639 694