Skip to content

Quality Improvement

Paul Batalden, Guest Professor of Quality Improvement and Leadership at Jönköping University in Sweden, has defined quality improvement as: “The combined and unceasing efforts of everyone – healthcare professionals, patients and their families, researchers, payers, planners and educators – to make the changes that will lead to better patient outcomes (health), better system performance (care) and better professional development (learning).”

Batalden P, Davidoff F. Qual. Saf. Health Care, 2007

These resources have been curated with our charity partner, RCVS Knowledge, to introduce how systematic approaches and techniques can be used to improve quality in healthcare, and the leadership skills needed to embed them in your work. 


In this video, Pam Mosedale, RCVS Knowledge Quality Improvement Clinical Lead, outlines what Quality Improvement is, and the techniques you can use to implement QI in your workplace.

Articles and Blogs

Good practice culture - great job satisfaction RCVS Knowledge (4 minute read)

Helen Silver-MacMahon MSc (Dist.) PSCHF Cert VNECC, Dip AVN(Surg), Cert SAN, RVN

Helen discusses how supportive leadership that encourages civility and mastery of personal goals will lead to a happy work environment, lower staff turnover, improved teamwork and greater efficiency.

How can leaders enhance safety culture? The importance of leadership for patient safety in corporate practice  (6 minute read)


This article looks at how the engagement of leaders positively influences patient safety. It also touches upon how leaders within an organisation have the opportunity to build and sustain trust, which promotes teamwork and psychological safety. 

Building a safety culture in practice - a whole team approach - RCVS Knowledge (9 minute read)

January 2021

Mark Turner BVSc MRes MRCVS

This article discusses how effective leadership at all levels can empower teams to make changes when they can see a better way. Shared leadership with the people on the front line can significantly contribute to a just culture and patient safety.

Why Just Culture Matters: A safer system for Quality Improvement (4 minute read)

Helen Silver-MacMahon MSc (Dist.) PSCHF Cert VNECC, Dip AVN(Surg), Cert SAN, RVN

This article discusses why a just culture is so important, and how it enables teams to discover what went wrong, and to learn from events without fear of repercussions.

What Matters To You: Conversation guide for leaders (PDF 374kb, 8 minute read)

Adapted by RCVS Knowledge from the original Institute for Healthcare Improvement framework, this resource is intended to support leaders within the veterinary sector in introducing the Joy in Work concept to their teams. This conversation guide will support you in setting up initial and follow-up conversations with your team to identify any ‘pebbles in your shoes’ (aka workplace frustrations) and to engage and empower the team to identify potential solutions to problems.


Getting your team on board to deliver Quality Improvement - Shobhan Thakore RCVS Knowledge (40 minute listen)

Shobhan Thakore, Clinical Lead for Scottish Quality and Safety Fellowship Programme, talks about how engaging with your team can lead to a greater and more enriching involvement from your team.

Transcript available: Getting your team on board to deliver Quality Improvement (PDF 408KB, 32 minute read) 

RCVS Knowledge QI Boxset Communication in practice (25 minute listen) 

Pam Mosedale, RCVS Knowledge Quality Improvement Clinical Lead, talks to Professor John Williams about how systems and meetings aid communication in practice. 

The Knowledge Sessions: Improvement not disapproval - Quality Improvement in veterinary regulation with Lizzie Lockett (25.21 minute listen)

Lizzie Lockett, RCVS CEO, discusses how the process of Quality Improvement can bring different personality types and skills together. This allows different members of teams to take the lead towards a common goal, and emphasises the importance of having the right culture in place to allow for that.

Transcript available: The Knowledge Sessions: Improvement not disapproval - QI in veterinary practice with Lizzie Lockett (PDF 204KB, 26 minute read)

Other resources

RCVS Knowledge CPD: All Courses

QI Boxset Series 1, episode 3 has many resources in various formats on communication, QI and getting the team on board, conducting meetings, and significant event audits. These are all significant in building and maintaining a culture that allows individuals to flourish in a leadership role.