Next week, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is having its International Forum in Florida. I was made aware of this through Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
The cost for the conference alone is $1300 but was reduced to $1200 for ‘early bird’ bookings.
The IHI provide this template for any potential attendee to be used to “convince your boss” of the merits of this International Forum in Quality Improvement (QI) in healthcare.
It would be interesting to know how many NHS Scotland staff may be attending this Conference in Florida. Going by past IHI Conferences in Florida the turnout of Scottish NHS employees has been notable.
I certainly do not have any wish to stereotype Quality Improvement (QI) approaches as “foreign” or “American.” I am of the view that the NHS has much to learn from this Institute that shares learning across a range of sectors and cultures. My experience has been that “improvement science” is most appropriate for approaches and interventions that are not complex. Unfortunately much of healthcare is rarely so simple.
My understanding is that QI approaches have principally been developed from industry, and in particular engineering. I have argued why the proliferation of mechanical language into healthcare risks causing harm.
I am still uncertain why any science should be pre-determined, in this case calling itself “improvement”. This risks creating well-meaning ‘group-think’ which, in its enthusiasm for improvement, may fail to look at the consequences of an intervention from every perspective.
My experience has been to find ethical considerations marginalised in the name of “improvement science” such that informed consent to new interventions has been considered less important.
So in summary, I am of the view that there may be more than just financial implications of QI now being introduced wholesale to our NHS. Science needs philosophy and questioning minds and I am sure that, on this, all improvement scientists would agree.