A Practical Guide to Quality Improvement for Burn Care



Why is quality improvement important? Quality improvement (QI) in healthcare is crucial in order to improve treatment outcomes and patient experience. Quality improvement projects work to make care safer, more effective and economical, to ensure equity and access to care, and simply to ensure that patients get the best care possible. In low-resource settings, the focus is often solely on service delivery, i.e., managing high patient demand with limited human resources, equipment and general logistical infrastructure. However, providing care without questioning if it can be improved eventually results in poor care. Whilst there can be many barriers to focusing on quality improvement in these settings, it is important to try and overcome these obstacles and work on improving systems and patient care through evidence-informed, focused interventions.

Hiba , a nurse on a burns unit in Palestine, explains why nurses and other front line staff are so important for QI projects

This document is a learning resource providing a structured overview of quality improvement implementation, aimed specifically at healthcare professionals working in low-resource settings who are committed to improving their workplace.

A practical guide to quality improvement

This guide provides a step-by-step process to creating a quality improvement project in a low-resource healthcare setting, from identification of the problem to collecting data and creating a project, right through to maintaining and sustaining change. This resource is based on the framework created by the Centre for Global Burn Injury Policy and Research and Interburns, which was used to run a quality improvement course in Malawi.

This course in 2019/2020, funded by the UK’s National Institute for Health Research, was designed for burn care nurses from Malawi and Ethiopia who wished to create posititve change in the burn units where they worked. Although all examples here are from nurses working in burn care, QI projects can also be carried out by therapists, dieticians, clinicians and other healthcare workers.


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