The aim of the SESLHD Improvement Academy is to build a centre for lifelong learning within South Eastern Sydney Local Health District and to foster a culture of staff led, continuous improvement.
The vision is grow and develop a workforce who sees high quality patient care above all other aims, understands the science of improvement, feels empowered to lead change in their own workplace and knows where and how to seek further support.
Through the Improvement Academy, SESLHD will commit to lifelong learning about patient safety and quality of care. This will be achieved through customised education for the entire workforce at all levels from the front line to the Board. Topics will range from the science of improvement, innovation, redesign, compassionate care, teamwork, leadership and professional development
In the first instance the Improvement Academy will be a virtual space. Education sessions will be held in various facilities across the district. As the model matures and partnerships with the community and SESLHD’s tertiary education providers are embedded, a physical social learning space with a lecture theatre, breakout rooms and a host of teaching spaces will be created.
South Eastern Sydney Local Health District is a complex, adaptive system. The constant need to balance finances, demand and the increasing expectations of higher quality is a challenging problem. In a 2013 paper ‘A Promise to Learn – a Commitment to Act’ Don Berwick states there are two ways for organisations to address this challenge. The first is to cut budgets and staff, placing the burden directly onto staff and patient care. The second way is through improvement. Through building capacity and capability in improvement, fostering leadership and encouraging new models of care and novel partnerships organisations are able to produce better care at a lower cost (P.14).
Over the past 15 years, large complex health organisations in Europe and America have demonstrated that vast improvements in patient safety and quality and financial sustainability can be achieved through embracing this approach (Woodhead, 2015)
The Improvement Academy stems from the SESLHD Journey to Excellence. The Improvement Academy logo can be described as follows; the little coloured triangles within the logo represent the existing pockets of excellence within SESLHD. The gaps signify the areas where we need to develop and grow. The objective is to create a whole connected system, that works together to achieve excellence for our community.