Creating an improvement social movement through digital transformation: my Topol Digital Fellowship journey
Nina Jaspal, Kaizen Promotion Office Specialist Nurse, talks us through her journey so far on the Topol Digital Fellowship.
Having worked through a global pandemic, where the world seemed to come to a halt, the NHS evolved overnight to brace for the impact of COVID-19. We are now in a state of rebuild to manage the longest waiting lists the NHS has ever seen. Through this difficult time, it amazed me how quickly the NHS adapted and sought new ways of working to cope with unpredicted demand and through this, I asked myself the question: if we can respond this way to a global problem of unknown proportions, why can't we think outside the box to rebuild better services for the future by harnessing the power of digital transformation?
I embarked on my journey as a participant on Cohort 4 of the Topol Digital Fellowship in April 2023. I was so excited for the opportunity as I have always been passionate about making improvements to pathways and processes, to improve care and provide better services for both staff and patients. Whilst I had never made a digital improvement, throughout my 9 years as a cardiac nurse I had seen the advances of home monitoring, wearable devices, and advances in new digital equipment improving our procedure times and the quality of care that we give. I wanted to learn more and be part of the movement to the new digital era.
Nursing views in the Topol Digital Fellowship
I am a Cardiac Nurse Practitioner that joined University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust's improvement team (UHCWi), the Kaizen Promotion Office, in September 2022. Following our UHCWi methodology, the people who do the work know how to improve the work the best.
Having both that clinical mindset and eye for improvement through the evaluation of waste and what adds value to patients, I believe that clinicians play a vital part in creating and sustaining change. However, all views no matter the banding, role or heirarchy need to be sought in making improvements within healthcare. I was so excited to hear that the Fellowship was open to all from health and social care, so anyone can be empowered to make change and I was eager to learn from my fellow colleagues.
With my clinical background and my current role in improvement, I wanted to take the opportunity to create a digital web-based app that could be used as a platform within the organisation to share learning across departments, giving staff a voice and to create a social movement of our UHCWi methodology of putting patients first, and empowering our staff to deliver safer care.
The web-based app will allow a problem to be uploaded by the user (member of staff), there would be an element of UHCWi education tools related to our lean methodology to ensure the user has root caused the problem and then for the user to be able to generate ideas in regards to the problem raised. The app would also allow users to run a Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycle comparing metrics from before and after the test and it would then ask for reflections following testing and this would then be produced into a blog which would form an online repository of all UHCWi improvements within the organisation that can be viewed by all.
By creating an app in which a problem has been identified, ideas have been generated and tested, it allows learning to be shared amongst the organisation as many departments suffer the same issues and this app will allow users to seek and adopt practices from others not having to reinvent the wheel. The web app will also allow users to like ideas and articles which will form the social element leading to a voted ‘idea of the week’, and ‘improvement of the month’ allowing for successes to be shared and celebrated.
The journey so far
The first day of our Fellowship launched in Birmingham in April at the Intervention Convention Centre (ICC). I was so excited to network with other Topol Digital Fellows and hear about their projects, it was exhilarating to be in a room full of people who shared the same zest for improvement!
I remember feeling in awe of the people I spoke to on that launch day as the passion was unparalleled to anything I had been involved in before with that eagerness to just get started. I was also filled with pride noting the diversity within the room, and the unique lived experiences and thoughts people had. I shared my project idea with my fellow colleagues and it was a great opportunity to hear other peoples thoughts and challenges which definitely made me reflect and think further on developing my idea with a clear problem in mind.
Throughout the day we met the facilitators that would guide us through the next 12 months on our bitesize session and TPX Impact workshops. The day also opened with a welcome from James Freed, Deputy Director of the Digital Academy, who encouraged us to take the opportunity to be creative and to explore uncharted territory and not be afraid of failure.
The day consisted of networking, forging relationships with peers and gaining invaluable knowledge which provided a strong foundation to further build upon through our virtual workshops and also gave us a sense of comradery and shared purpose.
Looking back on the journey so far, I feel privileged to have had this opportunity and support from my team to explore how we can work differently. The thought of building something in which learning can be shared cross organisation keeps me focused on the task in hand and I look forward to seeing how this continues to develop. Digital advances surround us in the era we live, why wouldn’t we think differently on how we can also deliver care. Everything begins with an idea, it’s finding the courage to pursue it!
Page last reviewed: 22 September 2023
Next review due: 22 August 2024