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Member Insight: publishing on BMJ Open Quality

One of Q's member benefits is the ability to publish work for free on BMJ Open Quality. Here Aklak Choudhury share's an insight into his recent experience publishing his work about oxygen prescription and delivery to patients.

Can you tell us a little bit about the article you published on BMJ Open Quality?

Oxygen prescribing and delivery to patients remains a major challenge across most acute hospital trusts in the UK. The British Thoracic Society 2015 national oxygen audit found that 42% of hospital patients using oxygen on the wards were doing so without an oxygen order with significant numbers of patients receiving oxygen either below or above the stated oxygen target range.

Our quality improvement programme incorporated multidisciplinary interventions on an acute respiratory ward to help tackle this problem. The quality improvement was part of a mentor supported trainee led programme for foundation year doctors and core medical trainees at Queen’s hospital, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital NHS Trust.

Through a number of PDSA interventions we were able to improve the recording of target oxygen saturations and delivery of oxygen to our patients. We found that system interventions such as scribing the target oxygen saturations by the patients bedside and communicating the improvement data to the wider team were most effective.

How easy/hard was the process of having your work published?

The publication process was easy. The online BMJ Open Quality author centre is very simple to navigate with a clear step wise process to publication. They provide a helpful word document template to write up your quality improvement programme. This template will be familiar to quality improvers! The review process is automatic with a quick turnaround. There is focus on appropriate QI methodology being applied. It is less important whether the final outcome was achieved or not. So long as you as the author can describe the learning from the programme of work. BMJ Open Quality has a wide breadth of publication article reviewers with many having a QI background, some of which are already Q Community members.

Has there been much engagement with the piece?

Oxygen prescribing and delivery is always a popular topic for quality improvement due to its central role in patient safety and the complexity of its delivery. Like with all articles on BMJ Open Quality, it is open access. This is great, as you will reach a wide readership quickly with like-minded quality improvements and experts in the topic of your QI. They can look at your work and adopt/adapt/collaborate improvements for their own departments. What can be better than that!

You can view your article metrics from the site . They state the number of tweets about your work, and how many times readers have looked at your work as a full article or downloaded the PDF. Since its publication in October 2018, it has been read online 283 times!

Would you recommend other Q members publish their work and who do you think it might be of most interest to?

I would very much recommend that you publish your work in BMJ Open Quality. It has a wide readership, it is open access and gives you an easy to follow template for your quality improvement work. They even have their own improvement guide document to help you. Moreover, it does not just publish quality improvement reports but also does articles on QI methodology, original papers, short reports and systematic reviews.

Oh and most importantly, as a Q Community member it is FREE!  That’s can save you over £1000 in publications costs. I took advantage of this when I published as an author. I liked the authoring process so much, that since my publication, I am now an associate editor for the journal.

What tips would you give to members when publishing work?

The main tip is to do your quality improvement project prospectively applying QI methodology throughout your work from start to finish. It will make your publication so much easier to write up! Do not forget the importance of baseline data, sometimes overlooked or described poorly. It will inform the reader as to why you embarked on your improvement.

It is worthwhile looking at the standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence. This provides clear instruction on how to report your Quality Improvement to publication standard.

I would also recommend that you take an early peek at previous articles published on the site. The editors are receptive to articles embracing a wide spectrum of quality improvement methodologies. If successful, the reviewers will also give you invaluable constructive advice on how to improve your article further prior to publication. I found this very helpful.

So what are you waiting for? Get publishing and share your quality improvement work to a worldwide audience!

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