Table 1

 Illustrative tools and methods in improvement

Domain of interestHelpful tools and methods
Healthcare as processes within systemsDiagrams that illustrate flow, inter-relationship and cause-effect; narrative descriptions; case examples
Variation and measurementData recorded over time and analysed on run charts and control charts
Customer/beneficiary knowledgeMeasurements of illness burden, functional status, quality of life; recipients’ assessment of the quality of their care
Leading, following and making changes in healthcareBuilding knowledge, taking initiative or adaptive action, reviewing and reflecting; developing both leadership and follower-ship skills
CollaborationManaging conflict, building teams and group learning; acquiring specific communication skills (eg, SBAR)
Social context and accountabilityDocumenting unwanted and unnecessary variation; widespread public sharing of information
Developing new, locally useful knowledgeMaking small tests of change (PDSA cycles)