Change and your practice
Knowing what needs changing and then setting goals for improving prevention performance is the first step in planning. Ultimately this is about building a sense of common purpose about what has to be changed. To get started, conduct a needs assessment:
- Ask your patients about their prevention needs and priorities42
- The Practice Prevention Inventory (see Appendix 1) provides a tool for assessing current performance in prevention
- Use case note audits to identify areas for improvement
- Use your practice team’s knowledge and your patient register to identify practice prevention priorities
- Gather and use population health data43,44
- Use or adapt a set of priorities identified by a reputable source.
Discuss with staff
- What do we want to improve?
- What is our goal?
- What changes do we need to make?
- What are the benefits to the patient, the team and the practice?
- What are the barriers to change?
- What are the consequences of not changing?
- What would facilitate change?
It may be helpful to revisit these questions with staff periodically during the planning and implementing of changes
The next step is to gather the practice team together to consider the information obtained in the needs assessment and to prioritise processes you want to change. The key to success is to choose a few areas where change is relatively simple to achieve, and where there are likely to be clear and measurable benefits for GPs, practice staff and patients. A coordinating group of interested practice staff should be convened to manage the process.
- Identify who in the practice or division will coordinate the needs assessment
- Hold a team meeting: encourage members to consider the summary information, identify priority issues, and decide which processes might be improved and to agree on where to start
- Appoint a coordinating group to drive the process and report back to the practice team on a regular basis