“Attending the Understanding and Reducing Variation and SPC courses has increased my confidence in using improvement data. It has enabled me to have the right conversations about meaningful improvement in A&E waiting times.”
Iona Elborough-Whitehouse is a Clinical Leadership Fellow at the Improvement Academy, who has worked in service improvement. Iona is involved in a range of projects but the project with the most data to manage has been in using A&E data to understand waiting times and to help identify where to focus areas for improvement.
Iona feels the biggest difference after attending the workshops is having confidence. For her work recognising that sometimes complicated-looking graphs are the best way of displaying the data and how to make sense of them, has been crucial. It was also important for her to understand the various types of graphs that are used and what each graph is showing.
Attending the course has now changed how Iona talks with other colleagues, especially those who are less confident looking at graphs or using data. Iona is far more confident in encouraging them not to worry about individual data-points (predominantly due to natural variation), but overall patterns. It’s also helped her to engage with the narrative that goes with a graph, for example, if a pattern does show a meaningful change, it’s important to recognise the efforts behind the change. Iona feels that it has helped her to have the right conversations, focusing on the issues which maybe she can do something about and not being distracted by peripheral fluctuations.
Iona attended the Improvement Academy Understanding and Reducing Variation in Healthcare and SPC in Healthcare courses, funded through the Yorkshire and Humber AHSN on 17th and 24th October 2018.