Initial training on quality improvement (QI) approaches is important for people to learn the principles of QI. Some healthcare workers or teams are able to take what they learned from a classroom QI training and apply it to real-world problems in their facilities on their own. But most teams need additional ongoing support.
QI coaching is an important method to provide ongoing support to help healthcare workers and teams to apply QI approaches in their setting.
QI coaching requires three key skill sets. First, the QI coach should have a good understanding of QI methodology and how to apply it practically. Second, the QI coach should possess communication and facilitation skills to help people learn to apply these methods in their own setting. Third the coach should be able to organize and plan their work of supporting QI teams. Many people who become quality improvement coaches have themselves received QI training, undertaken QI projects and have acquired deeper knowledge of the theory and practice of QI.
This package has been developed as a primer to meet the initial practical needs of coaches. This is not a comprehensive resource for learning all the skills and knowledge needed by coaches. People mostly learn to become good QI coaches as they undertake coaching of more and more QI teams. Getting better at coaching and QI is a lifelong pursuit and encompasses a wide array of knowledge and skills that is not possible to cover in this training package.
We hope that this Coaching Guide will equip QI practitioners and trainers to become QI coaches who can help new QI teams in managing some common challenges they face.