How to implement a Quality Management System
In the healthcare industry, providing high-quality care is of utmost importance. To achieve this, healthcare organisations must adopt effective systems and tools that enable them to monitor, evaluate, and improve their quality of care continually. One such tool is a Quality Management System (QMS). An effective QMS not only supports the delivery of care, but it also helps healthcare organisations to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements.
In this blog, we explore the key steps involved in implementing a Quality Management System, utilising Quality Management Information System (QMIS) software.
Step 1: Define the Objectives and Scope:
Before embarking on the implementation process, it is crucial to clearly define the objectives and scope of the QMS. Identify the specific quality areas that need to be managed within the QMIS such as document control, incidents, risks, training and staff records, internal quality audits and quality improvement planning.
Choose a QMIS solution that aligns with your organisation’s needs and goals. Look for a system that offers comprehensive functionality for key quality areas as well as features including data collection, analysis, reporting, and decision support. Consider factors such as scalability, integration with existing systems, ease of use, and ongoing vendor support.
Step 2: Engage Stakeholders:
Successful implementation of a QMIS requires active involvement and support from all stakeholders, including the Management Team, clinical staff, administrators, IT staff, and quality improvement teams. Engage these individuals early in the process to gain their buy-in, address concerns, and ensure that the QMIS meets their requirements. Establish a dedicated implementation project team to oversee the process.
Step 3: Develop a Project Plan:
Develop a comprehensive project plan, detailing the work to be carried out, the timeframes for each piece of work and the involvement required from stakeholders. Utilise a risk register to maintain oversight of the risks, challenges and necessary controls required for the implementation.
Step 4: Conduct process mapping to identify and agree processes:
To leverage the QMIS effectively, it must integrate with existing information systems and workflows within the healthcare organisation. It is imperative to conduct comprehensive mapping of processes, and related process re-engineering relevant to the quality areas selected. Conduct process mapping to map out the processes that need to be addressed, ensuring that all relevant departments/areas are represented. Once the process mapping sessions are completed, compile the resultant information into process flowcharts and comprehensible policies and procedures.
Step 5: Integrate QMIS within the System
A significant benefit of a QMIS is that its usage can be tailored to accommodate the specific requirements of an organisation. If implemented correctly, you can transform the processes that make the QMIS practical for staff so that it can be used to reduce the impact of time spent on maintaining quality management systems overall. Thus, it is important to determine how exactly the QMIS will operate within your service, with respect to the processes identified during the process mapping stage.
The key to effective development of the system is ensuring that it is set-up correctly and appropriately for your service. To ensure this the appropriate classifications of documents, users, equipment, workflow, etc. must be defined. Gather data including lists of departments, details of staff, staff training events, and policies and procedures for uploading to the system. Compile an implementation report including configuration details for the QMIS, such as user access permissions, classifications, automated messaging, or notifications etc.
When HCI is working with a healthcare client to implement a QMIS, we support our clients by reviewing the information obtained during the process mapping and integration stage, and utilise our healthcare regulatory and quality information systems knowledge to recommend how the QMIS should best be incorporated into the client’s organisation to ensure that it ‘sits’ comfortably within the process.
Step 6: QMIS Configuration
At this stage you must work with the QMIS provider to customise and configure the system to your approved implementation report. Upload the necessary documents, policies and procedures to the QMIS. Conduct testing on the system to ensure that it works correctly, prior to the roll out to the wider organisation.
Step 7: Engage and Train Staff and System Roll out:
To maximise the benefits of the QMIS, provide comprehensive training and education to the end-users. Conduct training sessions to familiarise healthcare staff with the system’s functionalities, data entry procedures, and reporting capabilities. Offer ongoing support and refresher training as needed to promote system adoption and proficiency. Encourage a culture of continuous learning and improvement, where staff members are empowered to identify and report quality issues, participate in quality improvement initiatives, and provide feedback for ongoing refinement of the QMS.
Step 8: Implement Performance Dashboards and Reports:
A key feature of a good QMIS is its ability to provide real-time insights through performance dashboards and reports. Consider choosing a system that offers customised dashboards that visualise key performance indicators (KPIs) and quality metrics. These visual representations enable healthcare professionals to monitor trends, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions efficiently.
When you choose a system like HCI’s QualSIPTM, you can leverage real time, governance, quality and patient safety data. The data displayed in QualSIPTM is in real time dynamic dashboards and graphs, and offers healthcare professionals instant access to critical data and trends that can help to identify and address gaps in care or patient safety, quality assurance or risks, supporting them to make improvements in clinical and quality outcomes.
When implementing QualSIPTM as part of the QMIS solution, HCI work with you to identify the appropriate KPIs. We aim to ensure that the data you extract from the system supports your quality and safety goals as well as reduces the burden of demonstrating regulatory compliance.
Step 8: Continuous Improvement and Evaluation:
A QMIS is a dynamic tool that facilitates continuous quality improvement. Establish mechanisms to monitor the QMIS’s effectiveness, such as routine audits and user feedback. Analyse data trends, identify potential issues, and implement targeted quality improvement initiatives. Keep your QMIS software up to date, ensure it is administered correctly and that new users are trained and know how to use the system correctly in line with your agreed processes.
Implementing a Quality Management System is a vital step towards enhancing the quality of care within a healthcare organisation. Utilising a QMIS will help healthcare organisations to streamline their quality management processes and achieve better patient outcomes.
At HCI we help providers of health and social care make intelligence driven decisions to attain, manage and improve quality, safety and regulatory compliance. Our digital health transformation specialists have been implementing Quality Management Information Systems in health and social care organisations for almost two decades. Not only that, but we also provide ongoing maintenance, administration and support of our clients’ systems to ensure that they are maintained in line with best practice, and that users have continuous access to knowledgeable support.
If you would like further information on our implementation of a QMIS support service, contact HCI at +353 (0)1 629 2559 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.