May 8th 2017

Quality Improvement in Healthcare: the Case for Change (FutureLearn)

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Explore new and better ways of organising health and social care services, to improve quality, with this free online course. Why is quality improvement in health and social care systems so difficult? Why is it so challenging to bring in new and better ways of organising health and social care services?

Many reasons have been put forward: lack of money; lack of appropriate or complete knowledge; excessive and perhaps unnecessary regulations; and entrenched professional opinions and interests.

This free online course suggests that the main reason is complexity. Health and social care systems are inherently complex, with many interconnected activities and processes, and thus difficult to measure, analyse, change and improve.

Understand how to overcome complexity and lead quality improvement in healthcare

Over six weeks, this course will help you to understand some of this complexity, showcase some simple methods that can help you improve the quality of care services and point towards resources that can be used to further your knowledge and understanding.

By the end of the course, you will:

- learn about what quality and process improvement entails, especially in a health and social care setting;

- understand how quality improvement can lead to better outcomes for staff and organisations, including customers and/or patients;

- gain confidence to start and lead a quality improvement project within your organisation;

- learn how to access additional support and get others to join in;

- understand how quality improvement can help you deal with the complexity in organisational systems, using health and social care systems as a case study, and how to improve in key areas while not worsening others;

- and understand how systems modelling and analytics techniques support quality improvement initiatives.


The course is designed for people working in health and social care organisations such as clinicians, allied health professionals, nurses, managers or administrators. People with a general interest in health and social care organisations, such as service users and carers, may also find the course of interest to them.

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