Virtual workshop discusses RCSI-led study on healthcare quality improvement in Ireland

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The learnings from a RCSI-led review of quality improvement studies in Ireland were shared at a recent workshop for quality improvement practitioners, educators, policy-makers, and patient and family representatives.

RCSI’s Healthcare Outcomes Research Centre (HORC) was commissioned to undertake the scoping review by the HSE’s National Quality Improvement Team. The RCSI Institute of Leadership (IoL) also collaborated on the study.

Examining published research from 2015-2020, the review recognises the role of quality improvement and health economics in the Irish health system. Workshop participants were invited to consider how the concept of ‘value’ may be incorporated further into quality improvement practice.

Speaking at the workshop, Professor Jan Sorensen, Director of the HORC, addressed the importance of data in achieving a good return on investment in quality improvement activity.

Professor Sorensen said: “Quality improvement comes with an investment cost, but if these projects result in resources being used more efficiently, then they will ultimately produce cost savings. Investing in quality improvement in one area, however, means that the same resources cannot be used to improve quality in other areas. Therefore it is important to consider where quality improvement is likely to have the largest pay-off, and make investments where the pay-off is believed to be highest.” 

Professor Sorensen added: “RCSI is committed to providing accessible platforms to share and create knowledge and discoveries to inform and influence key stakeholders to foster improvements in health. Stakeholder engagement workshops such as this are critical ways of ensuring that public policy in healthcare is co-created and research-informed.” 

The findings of the scoping review were presented by RCSI researchers Dr Siobhán McCarthy (IoL) and Dr Samira Barbara Jabakhanji (HORC). The research has been submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and will be made publicly available at a later date. 

The scoping review was led by Professor Sorensen. It was supported and funded by Dr Philip Crowley (HSE National Director for Quality Improvement), Dr Jennifer Martin (HSE Lead for QI Evidence) and Dr Maureen Flynn (HSE Lead for QI Connections).

Mr Eunan Friel, Director of RCSI Healthcare Management, commended the collaborative research approach incorporating both quality improvement and health economics as an important part of the University’s research strategy.

Established in 2016, the RCSI-based HORC is a leading Irish research centre dedicated to the development and dissemination of evidence-based research on healthcare outcomes that informs healthcare policy and improves patient outcomes.

Health outcomes research examines the end results of healthcare services with a focus on patients’ experiences, preferences and values; informing decisions at different levels of the healthcare system, including those who receive, provide, organise and pay for healthcare.

Established in 2005, the RCSI Institute of Leadership, is Ireland’s only higher education institution dedicated exclusively to developing and leadership, management and educational capacity of health professionals.

Stakeholders are invited to get in touch with further thoughts to Dr Siobhan McCarthy by emailing and to continue the conversation on Twitter: @NationalQI #RapidQIreland #QIreland @RCSI_il @RCSI_Irl.