Text size: A+ A-

Step 4: Where to next?

Step 4 is about using the result reports to develop an action plan and, going forward, ensuring that your organisation engages in a continuous process of quality improvement.

The results your organisation has received will help measure your organisation’s performance across the five Guiding VALUEs, revealing where policies and practices support person-centred approaches and opportunities for improvement.

You next need to determine where quality improvements can be made and to plan what steps need to be taken to implement them.

What is continuous quality improvement?

Continuous quality improvement is a process that ensures programs and services are systematically and intentionally improving to ensure positive outcomes for the people using them.

It involves an ongoing process of assessment, reflection and evaluation.

Your organisation may already have these processes in place. If so, continue to use this. If not, you may find the following four-step Plan Do Study Act model for improvement useful.

Plan Do Study Act model for improvement

The Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) model for improvement is a simple, yet powerful, tool for advancing improvement. It will help you plan, test and incorporate feedback before you commit to implementation of changes.

Before you start with the model, it will help if you answer the following three questions:

  1. What are we trying to accomplish?
  2. How will we know that the change is an improvement?
  3. What changes do we need to make that will result in improvement?

Once these questions have been answered, you should have all the information you need to successfully complete the PDSA model.

      • Plan
        The assessment process has highlighted areas where improvements can be made to better the support you provide to consumers and your staff. A quality improvement plan will help you to develop a systematic way to manage any change that is required and should reflect the unique circumstances of your service and community. 
      • Do
        The next step is to put the plan into effect and test a potential solution, or range of solutions. Remember to develop a communication plan and communicate openly and often, ensuring that staff and other stakeholders have adequate information and opportunity to provide comment and input into the change initiative. This should help staff understand the need for change, and will ensure that they are accepting of the new initiatives.
      • Study
        The next step is to verify the process has achieved the desired results. Testing allows you to try the change on a temporary basis and decide if the changes have actually led to improvement. Remember, complex improvements can require one or more cycles before changes are accepted and incorporated. Repeating the self-assessment process can demonstrate if the changes have resulted in the intended outcomes.
      • Act
        It is now time to take action by considering the improvements you have implemented. Do they suggest further improvements? To make these changes stick, time and effort is required to ensure new behaviours and ways of working become the accepted norm. Don’t be discouraged if there is some drifting back to old ways.

The completion of the PDSA cycle leads directly to the start of the next cycle. As such this model works well as the basis for a continuous quality improvement process.

You can read more about the PDSA cycle by downloading Section 4 of the printed resource that you can download from this page.

Congratulations, you have finished The self-assessment section! You should now understand how the self-assessment can help your organisation and the steps involved in carrying it out. Continue to the next section to find out more about Implementing change.

Continue to the next section