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Bringing together the worlds of improvement and digital through Q Exchange: meet the successful projects

Q Exchange, Q’s collaborative funding programme, aims to activate the knowledge of improvement experts across the UK by providing a space where teams can collaboratively develop ideas for improvement projects and submit bids for up to £40,000 of funding. For Q Exchange 4, we asked teams to develop ideas under the theme ‘Bringing together the worlds and methods of improvement and digital, to enable better outcomes and faster, more sustainable change’.

In the first round 113 ideas were submitted, of which 92 became submitted proposals. The shortlisted projects were then selected using the expertise of the community through member-led panels, who had the challenging task of narrowing the list down to 30. Following the community vote, which closed on Tuesday 31 May 2022, we are pleased to announce the top 20 projects who will receive funding.

From a really diverse range of initial proposals, these final 20 projects have been judged to have the best potential to generate insight and value for patients, staff, and the health and care system.

A big thank you to the 359 members who voted and congratulations to all the Q Exchange 4 funded projects!

Q Exchange Funded Projects

Browse the full list of projects:

Addressing digital exclusion in mental health services

The project aims to ensure people with severe mental illness (SMI) are not experiencing health inequalities due to digital exclusion and are able to make an informed choice about whether and how they use digital/face to face services. It’ll work with partners across the Isle of Wight to create a clear pathway that addresses inequalities through digital exclusion in people living with SMI.

Bringing women of colour with digital skills into improvement activity

Digital improvement works better when digital experts and improvement practitioners join forces and share expertise. This project will create a ‘talking library’ to access these people and pay forward their stories. They will recruit and profile the digital skills and expertise of women of colour for Q members to access to help with their improvement projects.

Competence, Confidence And Complex Needs Children

Promoting competence, confidence and safe delegation for carers of children with complex needs, supporting their integration in school, community and home life through the development of a digital training platform. This project aims to ensure that the just-in-time training required for the safe care of children with nursing needs at home, school and community settings is engaging, easily accessible and speeds up integration.

Develop A Digital Perioperative Patient Portal

Patients struggle to communicate with secondary care providers when waiting for care. This project wants to remove that struggle by supporting patients on planned care pathways through development of a digital patient portal. The portal will allow patients to track their appointments, see waiting times, receive optimisation/prehab advice/support and submit information.

Developing the Blackpool Safety Barometer: A ward-level virtual safety dashboard

The Blackpool Safety Barometer is a clinical area-level dashboard that enables teams to view safety data at a glance. This includes harm data, positive safety data and safety culture indicators. This project aims to empower frontline staff to improve safety. Multi-disciplinary teams will be supported to develop and use their dashboards to make specific improvements.

Digital Innovation is for Everyone – supporting digital inclusion across healthcare

Digital innovation brings improvements for patients, but inequalities mean that many are being left behind. We cannot continue to develop and innovate new ways of working without addressing digital exclusion. Bringing a QI approach to this complex problem will enable the project team to define the issue of digital exclusion locally, testing and embedding solutions that are practical and inequality-focused, alongside the use of data and measurement so that no one is left behind.

Digital Transformation of Criteria Led Discharge

The advantages of timely discharge are already well documented. This project wants to increase the use of the Criteria Led Discharge (CLD) pathway to facilitate more timely discharge of patients and improve patient flow. Increasing the numbers of patients on the CLD pathway should enable more patients to benefit from this novel functionality.

Embedding community participation in meaningful transformation for improving population health and well-being

What and who matters when transforming population health and well-being? And how should resources be used for maximum impact?

This project aims to work collaboratively on reducing health inequalities through gathering the community voice in a shared, inclusive, digitally-enabled space.

The vision is to embed community-powered intelligence and partnership at the heart of population health transformation. So that everyone in the local community can feedback and contribute to improving health and wellbeing.

Getting Kids Hands On For Their Heart

NICE Guidance recommends that electrocardiogram (ECG) is completed for initiation and monitoring of certain medications to monitor and prevent any potential adverse effects. This project aims to improve patient safety by using a handheld ECG monitor, in initiation and monitoring of prescribed medication of children with intellectual disability. The handheld device would be a clinical indicator of any potential adverse effects. This would improve prescribing adherence to monitoring and reduce patient safety fears.

Hearing those seldom heard – improving access to the complaints process

Making a complaint about NHS care is difficult. By offering a digital solution this project wants to make it easier for people to share their story and hear those seldom heard. The aim of the project is to improve access to the process for making a complaint and improve transparency of the review by developing and providing a digital solution to supplement the current offer.

Improving patient experience, communication and care through digital technology – RITA

Patients with dementia are at higher risk of falls and pressure ulcers. Hospital admission can trigger distress, confusion, and delirium. Contributing to a decline in functioning and a reduced ability to return home to independent living. This project will pilot the introduction of RITA (Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activities) for inpatients living with dementia. It aims to improve communication and interaction, reduce agitation and stress, and ultimately reduce the length of stay and improve patient experience.

Install and evaluate dementia button on ambulance electronic patient record

Older people have a high usage of emergency ambulance services. Dementia is a common condition affecting older people using health services and impacts on all aspects of their care. Dementia is recorded in 16 different free-text fields on the electronic patient record (ePR), making it difficult for other staff to accurately retrieve data when referring to the record. By adding a new dementia section on the ePR, paramedics on scene will be able to record dementia so the information can be passed on to other services and improve patient care.

Making space for ‘Place’: supporting system-wide improvement through digital spaces

Increasingly, improvement efforts need to be worked on collaboratively across a complex system involving primary, secondary, social care and the voluntary sector. This project will seek to understand how digital technology can encourage cross-system collaboration, build a simple, common approach to improvement, share information and learning and provide practical and timely support. It aims to provide a simple, easy way to improve patient journeys and experiences without borders, silos and organisational limits.

Mobile App to support Improvements in Pressure Ulcers and Falls Prevention

International evidence indicates there are a small number of high-impact patient safety risks which, if tackled effectively, can significantly improve safety and quality of health care. This project aims to design, develop and deliver a low-complexity, accessible, engaging and easily navigable mobile app to support healthcare professionals undertaking Pressure Ulcers and/or Falls Prevention improvement projects in clinical settings (both hospital and community) across Ireland.

One Big Front Door for children’s community health

When families are concerned about their child’s development, they currently need multiple referrals to get help. This project aims to build one route to help from a range of services.

The aim is to co-design with families a single access point (Big Front Door) for them to use when they need support for their child. This will include digital options as determined by our families. This could include improvements in web access, virtual consultations and development of digital access through existing portals such as apps and social media.

Open access evidence maps

In an NHS that wants to be both person-centred and evidence-based, a good understanding of patient experience is an essential driver for improvement.

This project is a digital innovation that can expose saturation and gaps in the evidence base. It can show who gets heard, and who doesn’t – vital knowledge for understanding health inequalities, and spotting areas where evidence-based improvement needs to be strengthened. The aim is to put more of these patient experience evidence maps in the public domain, democratising the knowledge they contain.

ProJect B+: Reducing blood testing related distress in children

Children suffer distress daily in our hospitals due to invasive procedures. We need to change this and improve how we do things, together.

This project aims to have every child, parent/caregiver, and staff confident, calm and ready for elective blood tests in hospital. The project will provide digital based preparatory education, resources and skills training using a biopsychosocial approach.

Quality Improvement Design Collaborative Huddle and Digital Submission ePortal

Collaborative providers are geographically dispersed. There is no single cross site eportal collaborative space for the submission of Quality Improvement and Innovation proposals and the potential for digital solutions to support this.

The ‘Design Collaborative’ is an ICS partnership provider collaborative aiming to develop an integrated improvement/ innovations eportal to submit proposals and strengthen design through an interprofessional coaching collaborative.

Scalable digital learning, integrating families as partners in neonatal care

This project is a digital approach enabling anyone, anywhere to champion lived and learned experiences in #FamilyIntegratedCare, spark culture change, and embed the BAPM Framework for Practice using the tried-and-tested ‘Whose Shoes’ approach.

It aims to champion lived and learned experiences in Family Integrated Care and empower individuals, teams and neonatal networks to embed the five key FICare principles as laid out in the BAPM Framework for Practice.

By including marginalised voices and lived experiences of health inequalities, the team aim to challenge deeply held beliefs and create greater insights about the barriers and prejudices some families face.

Translating predictive occupancy data into real-time discharge action

The NHS remains in a critical state in regard to both emergency flow and delivering elective care. This project aims to determine the enablers and barriers to operational managers using real-time predictive data on hospital occupancy to improve hospital flow.

The overall aim is to ensure that predictive data has a real time application. This has benefits for improving operational manager decision making, increasing clinical staff confidence and direct patient benefit through improving flow.