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Human Factors and Quality Improvement – A Community of Practice to Share Learning and Innovation

Welcome to the first blog from Q Exchange project, Community of Practice: Human Factors and Quality Improvement!

For those of you who have been following our progress, thank you for your patience over the last few months. We are finally up and running and back on track after a slight ‘administrative error’ and the global pandemic derailed our original Q Exchange activity plans.

While we have made some good progress with our project aims (see below), we have been forced to revise a lot of our planned learning and workshop activity. We are planning to deliver these now via virtual online platforms over the coming six months and beyond as we look to sustain and grow.

You can read fully about our project on our Q Exchange project page, but as a quick reminder, the goals of this Q Exchange project are threefold:

  1. To integrate and grow regional Human Factors (HF) networks, engage with the Q membership and wider QI community, and develop an online resource centre
  2. To develop a HF ‘brilliant basics’ toolkit to enhance scope, and add value, to existing improvement concepts and methods.
  3. To build on early development work between the HF and QI expert communities to validate and test a hybrid conceptual model and design related case studies to inform wider learning.

What have we done so far?

In the past six months, our online Community of Practice (CoP) has continually evolved with a whole range of free-to-download educational resources, guidance and tools being continually added. This is currently being hosted temporarily by NHS Education for Scotland (NES), for which we are very grateful for their support.

Please bookmark the site, sign up for the CoP and share widely with your networks.

What are we doing next?

We will be running a series of webinars led by expert colleagues from across the UK home countries on a variety of crossover topics of interest to the Human Factors (HF) and Quality Improvement (QI) communities over the next 6 months covering a variety of subjects, such as an introduction to HF, capturing organisational learning, Safety-II in practice and more!

As well as planned focus groups to explore and develop QI and HF synergies, we will also run online sessions to stimulate discussion and debate on contentious topics of interest to our communities, such as:

  • ‘Never Events’ and Zero Harm
  • Should we teach Patient Safety?
  • Safety versus Reliability
  • ‘Violations’
  • Situation Awareness

For more information about these events, join our Q Exchange Microsoft Team by emailing ‘Please Sign Me Up to Q Exchange Webinars’ to:

‘Brilliant Basics’: our Human Factors toolkit
We’re also in the process of developing our HF toolkit. Early thinking suggests that methods such as Hierarchical Tasks Analysis, SEIPS and Systems Thinking for Everyday Work (STEW)  can be quickly picked up and used by ‘non-specialists’ with minimal training. We will keep our project page updated with progress of its development and opportunities for testing.

Our Response to COVID-19:
Part of the reason for the delay with our Q Exchange project was the need for many of us to quickly respond to supporting the performance and wellbeing of the care workforce during this crisis period. The ‘upside’ of this unfortunate turn of events for all of us, was the opportunity for the HF and QI communities, including Q members, to work side-by-side on the development of useful resources for COVID-19 and beyond, such as:

  • Achieving sustainable change
  • User-centred design of work procedures for health and social care teams
  • Creating a safe workplace
  • Design and operation of Ventilators for COVID-19.

To access many of these outputs please visit:

Read more in recent journal publications from fellow Q colleagues

Q colleagues have been very active in various scholarly activities and have contributed as co-authors to the following articles:

Other publications coming soon:

Sign up to our online Community of Practice.

Keep up with the latest on our project by following us on Twitter: @HFHealthcareUK

Thank you once again to everyone who supported our application.

We look forward to meeting and working with you all over the coming months.

Find out more about this project through the Q Exchange project page.

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