A physiotherapist has delivered a lecture on how quality improvement reporting can be made substantially more effective, having undertaken a PHD on the subject.
Quality improvement reporting is an essential tool in helping raise the standard of physiotherapy, ensure best practice is adopted as widely as possible and problems are avoided instead of repeated.
However, achieving these goals is not easy and the work carried out by Emma Jones in her award-winning PHD thesis from the University of Leicester's College of Life Sciences may go some way towards helping inform how best quality reporting can be enhanced.
When conducting her PHD, she noticed how so much of the subject matter had been missing from other research. This included 43 per cent of the issues that should have been reported on being absent from the 100 published papers she looked at.
Of these, the issue of fidelity - whether the quality improvement work was carried out as it was meant to be - was the most neglected. It was missing from 74 per cent of papers.
Dr Jones, now an academic at Warwick University, delivered the lecture to academics, clinical practitioners and members of the public. Her PHD subject was titled 'Strengthening quality improvement intervention reporting in surgery'.
Speaking to Frontline, she explained her findings, stating: "Quality improvement (QI) involves analysing how care is delivered and then making changes, which lead to better system performance and better quality and safety for patients.
"But when QI research in surgery is published, it is often written up so poorly that people in other hospitals can’t understand what they need to do to repeat any success. Elements are frequently missing, which means the research is not replicable."
She added that the consequence of this is that around five per cent of patients end up with an avoidable complication, which can either lead to death or a reduced quality of life.
The lecture may help the profession appreciate the need to avoid neglecting key issues, thus bolstering quality improvement reporting.
Written by Matthew Horton
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