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Introducing Continuous Quality Improvement to Community Based Organizations

by Joe Aherne

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The Leading Edge group recently partnered with the Canadian Centre for Accreditation (CCA) with a view to bringing continuous quality improvement methodologies to community based organizations across Canada.

The partnership has allowed us to provide webinars and improvement workshops to participants who wish to know more about quality improvement and how to grow problem solving methodologies within their organizations.

On the morning of October 2nd 2017, a fully subscribed webinar was hosted by the CCA in Toronto and generated many good questions from the participants. With over 160 people signed up, we needed to check our technology was up for the job!

The hour- long webinar started off with an overview of accreditation and its link with quality improvement to allow the audience to understand the important relationship between the two.

The webinar then discussed the history of quality improvement from post war to the present day and discussed why it may have taken so long to move from manufacturing into the service industries and particularly into the publicly funded service industries.

Participants were introduced to the concept of process waste and non- value added activities that can use an organizations resources and add no value to the service for the customer or the business. It also impacts the ability of the organization to fully utilize their resources and so limits the capacity to do more with less.

The webinar introduced some commonly used quality improvement methodologies such as standard work, visual management and value stream mapping that can be used  to help reduce variation in processes as well as decrease operational costs and improve safety.

The webinar finished with the presentation of a case study which demonstrated the use of quality improvement methodology in a community based addiction clinic. The case study demonstrated how initial assessment times could be reduced by 66% to allow more clients to be admitted to the program in a timely manner using quality improvement techniques.

There was a few minutes left for questions at the end and a few of the most interesting ones were as follows:

  • How do you overcome resistance to change with staff when trying to introduce new quality improvement methodologies?
  • Are staff intimidated by being watched and timed undertaking some work?
  • Can we call our clients customers if they are not paying directly for a service- For example, patients?

We answered as many questions as we could in the time remaining and then had to sign off. We hope to answer the rest of the questions at our first one day quality improvement workshop being hosted by the Canadian Centre for Accreditation in Toronto on October 27th.

You can register for the workshop via this link.

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Joe Aherne Photo
Joe Aherne

CEO of Leading Edge Group

Joe qualified as a Certified Public Accountant in 1982. It was a decision that reaped great benefits for Joe, providing him with an international recognized qualification which allowed him to follow in his father and grandfathers’ footsteps who had both worked and lived abroad. Having qualified as a CPA, Joe took up financial positions in the Middle East and UK.

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