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Unit information: Quality Improvement in Healthcare in 2021/22

Unit name Quality Improvement in Healthcare
Unit code MEEDM0034
Credit points 0
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Grant
Open unit status Not open



Registration on the two linked units ie Patient Safety & Risk Management (0 credits) and the Healthcare Improvement Capstone Unit (40 credits).

School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit aims to enhance learners ability to develop knowledge and skills around the use of Quality Improvement initiatives in the workplace. The learners will have the opportunity to plan, develop and implement their own QI project using their reflection of a patient safety event from the previous unit, Patient Safety and Risk Management.

The aim of this unit will be to:

1. Provide students with a detailed understanding of the rationale for and philosophy of Quality Improvement projects in the workplace context.
2. Provide students with a detailed understanding of the methodology involved in implementing a QI project, including planning, designing the project and analysing key stakeholder relationships to allow that implementation.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of the unit, students should be able to:

A: Knowledge and Understanding:

  1. Compare and contrast quality assurance and quality improvement and describe the relationship of audit mechanisms related to clinical governance.
  2. Analyse the principles and differences between quality improvement, audit and research.
  3. Critique the elements required for the implementation of quality improvement and can identify most suitable tool to facilitate appropriately.
  4. Explain process mapping, stakeholder analysis, goal and aim setting, implementing change and sustaining improvement.
  5. Compare and contrast QI improvement tools and methodologies including measurement of impact and research.
  6. Identify key features and skills required to effectively manage and sustain change in their own context.
  7. Critically analyse of components required to establish a culture of organisational learning in the NHS.

B: Intellectual Skills /Attributes:

  1. Demonstrate a critical approach to an organisation's proactive improvement of healthcare delivery.
  2. Critically analyse the health sector using the focus of key relationships between educational and governance infrastructures.
  3. Demonstrate criticality towards literature and theory relevant to health care improvement and organisational learning.
  4. Demonstrates how critical reflection on the planning, implementation, measurement and response to data in a Quality Improvement project have influenced planning for future projects.

C: Other Skills /Attributes (Practical/Professional/Transferable):

  1. Develop a Quality Improvement project, demonstrating sustainable change in an area of healthcare delivery.
  2. Recognise the need for continuous improvement in the quality of care, and for audit to promote standard setting and quality assurance.
  3. Demonstrate the values to actively support quality improvement in the clinical environment.
  4. Demonstrate advocacy for clinical quality improvement.

Teaching Information

The unit will be delivered through a mixture of self-guided study materials, real time and recorded lectures, web-based tutorials and discussions, case study work, readings, and activities. There will be some compulsory pre-course work which will include core readings and critical analysis which the students are required to carry out. The use of the Blackboard online learning environment will be actively pursued to develop students’ understanding and engagement with the unit content.

Assessment Information

Formative Assessment:

1: Draft a written proposal on the implementation of a Quality Improvement project. This is then presented to tutors and the group. The proposal must be based on previous case report findings in the Patient Safety Unit formative assessment.
Student feedback given.

2: Write a 3000 word analytical report on the planning, delivery and implementation of that QI project. This report will form part of the Capstone report.

Students must successfully engage with this unit, which will be assessed by engagement with synchronous and asynchronous online activities and engagement with the formative assessment tasks.

No summative assessment is linked to this 0 credit unit. Assessment is delivered, and credit awarded, via the Healthcare Improvement Capstone Assessment Unit. Students will be expected to build on this formative written proposal in the Assessment Unit with a summative written project.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. MEEDM0034).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.