Following a difficult few months in London, with four major incidents in a short space of time, we felt our staff needed some moral-boosting. This project seemed like the perfect solution. It provides positive feedback, rather than the previous system that encourages ubiquitous negative feedback through incident reporting and identifying error. Traditionally, safety in healthcare has focused on avoiding harm and learning from error; this allows no consideration as to why human performance normally avoids adverse outcomes. 'Learning from Excellence' suggests that by studying excellent practice in healthcare, opportunities can be created for learning and improving staff morale. This is achieved through implementation of reporting systems and 'appreciative inquiry', a root-cause analysis of excellent events. By launching this project, we aimed to boost staff morale and initiate the process of learning from excellence.
We set up a simple system, with the use of online or paper forms to submit an excellence report. We used a short explainer video, posters and social media to tell people about the project. Our initial challenges were in implementing the project and encouraging staff to submit reports, so we led by example and the Excellence Reporting team started submitting reports to help spread the word; people then started to follow. We distributed the reports, shared themes and anonymous quotes with the department as a whole.
Between May and September, we have received 85 reports for medical, nursing and administrative staff within and outwith the department.
We are now focusing on automating the online process and gaining trust-wide involvement. Going forward, we aim to demonstrate increased staff morale and incorporate excellence reporting, and ultimately appreciative inquiry, into our clinical governance structure.