Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI programme to promote theatre quality improvement highlighted at HSE conference on value improvement

25 September 2018

Speaking at the opening of a HSE Value Improvement Programme conference hosted at RCSI today, RCSI President Mr Kenneth Mealy said that projected demographic changes make it imperative that we build capacity to allow better use of the valuable assets within our hospitals.

Mr Mealy said that the “evidence suggests that if we could improve theatre efficiency by 10% in half the operating theatres in the country we could prevent our surgical waiting lists from continuing to increase”. The conference brought together surgical teams including surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and health care administrators for a discussion on methods to improve operating theatre efficiency.

Speaking at the conference, Mr Kieran Tangney, Director of the Quality and Process Improvement Centre in RCSI, explained how RCSI’s Theatre Quality Improvement Programme (TQIP) allows for a systematic assessment of all of the steps in a surgical patients’ journey.

Mr Tangney said: “TQIP supports healthcare teams to enhance their process improvement capability and supports their ability to design more effective ways of working together. Taking a multidisciplinary team approach is key to sustainable improvement. It enables participating hospitals team to design safe, effective and efficient delivery of care for their patients. This approach directly benefits staff and their patients, as better designed work processes allows more time for direct patient care.”

“The keys to success are a combination of senior management oversight and support to encourage theatre staff address issues in pre-admission planning, theatre scheduling and preparation and staff engagement. TQIP promotes better use of theatre resources and encourages greater patient satisfaction and safety”, added Mr Tangney.

University Hospital Kerry was the first hospital to participate in TQIP. RCSI and the National Clinical Programmes in Surgery are now seeking HSE support to roll the programme out nationally in all public hospitals.