Skip to Main Content

Nursing

Service Improvement Project

The Service Improvement Project is an 8000 word project to be based on an evaluation of a student-selected innovation in practice, which aims to enhance the service user/carer experience, identifying how quality care may be enhanced and good practice disseminated. The student will also include realistic recommendations for achieving this. The exploration of an innovation should be appropriate to the nurse’s role in practice and will include reflection on the personal and professional skills required for its implementation.

Service Improvement Tips

General approach

Some students can feel overwhelmed by the scale of the service improvement, but remember that some parts will be similar to other assignments. Try to break the assignment down and follow the tips below:

Keep your improvement in mind 
  • Be clear what it is and why it is important. Make sure that it’s a single improvement, not a mixture of different improvements.

  • Introduce it before your search so that your lecturer knows why you have carried out the search in that way

  • Give a rationale for all your points – show why they matter. Include strengths and weaknesses eg for tools used.

  • Include theory (using references) but link it back to your SI – don’t just include lots of theory without relating it to your SI.

  • Link any tools or frameworks eg PESTLE and PDSA to your SI – don’t just describe the framework.

References
  • You need a lot of references to support your ideas.

  • Check that they’re up-to-date, from academic sources

  • Don’t use lots of US statistics if they’re not relevant to your SI

  • Put your citations at the end of sentences, not in the middle

Structure
  • Think about your chapter/section length – combine very short chapters

  • Each needs an introduction and a conclusion.

  • Think about the flow of your paragraphs – is there a logical order? Describe your search before discussing the results.

  • Use the WEED model to introduce points, to improve your paragraph structure

Be concise
  • Going over your word-count is a very common problem – students often underestimate how many words they will write in each chapter and so don’t realise how quickly their word-count can be used up.

  • Remove duplication – if you’ve said it in one chapter, you don’t need to include it again

  • Remove redundant words.

  • Is there anything you can put into tables eg your structured search?But check with your supervisor

  • Move content to appendices if you can – but check with your supervisor

Signposting
  • Make it clear when you’re moving from one section to another eg steps of the PESTLE or PDSA.

Literature review
  • Make sure you’re confident how to search (eg Boolean operators) – librarians can help you.
  • When reviewing articles, discuss why the chosen articles are relevant to your SI before critiquing each one.

  • Don’t spend a lot of time on one article compared with the others.

  • Help on literature reviews is available – we have a handout and workshop (but they’re not very different from usual essays – sometimes students become confused and just describe articles in too much detail)

Reflection
  • For the criteria ‘Critical reflection on the personal and professional skills required to undertake this review and facilitate the proposed recommendations’ you need to approach this differently from reflection in previous modules.

  • You don’t actually carry out the SI, so be careful when using models such as Gibbs.You haven’t got a past experience to look back on.

  • Think about it from the SI - what skills would be needed? Do you have them?

Writing style
  • It’s an academic piece of work – so the usual academic writing advice applies.

  • Proof-read to ensure that your sentences make sense.

  • Check that you’ve written in full sentences not sentence fragments (we have a workshop/libguide on sentences).

  • Keep your style formal – don’t use slang or contractions (eg can’t), write in the 3rd person.

 

You will be required to conduct a structured search to identify relevant literature that relates to or can support your innovation.  You need to think broadly about possible related topics as new innovations will not have been rigorously researched yet.  Think about ‘non-research’ evidence you can use, for example, policy and guidance, audit, patient satisfaction surveys, patient care studies etc

Databases that have research for the service improvement project will vary depending on the innovation you wish to implement.

You are expected to search CINAHL and other appropriate  general Nursing databases which are found on the Finding Journal Articles page. 

Hints on searching CINAHL for your service improvement project can be found in this Video presentation 

Video Presentation 

 video camera

 

Further help with using CINAHL  can be found on the guide CINAHL support 

You may find the following databases also useful:

You will be required to conduct a structured search to identify relevant literature that relates to or can support your innovation.  You need to think broadly about possible related topics as new innovations will not have been rigorously researched yet.  Think about ‘non-research’ evidence you can use, for example, policy and guidance, audit, patient satisfaction surveys, patient care studies etc.

Structure of Service Improvement Project SDH3033-N

 

Title

Abstract (approx. 250 words)

Summarises all key information from various sections of the project

Section 1: Background (Approx 2,500 words)

Why did you start?/background

Problem Description

Nature and significance of the local problem that prevents care from reaching its full potential

Literature Review

Summary of what is currently known about the problem, including relevant previous studies

Aims

Purpose of the project

Section2 Methods (Approx 2,500 words)

What will you do?

Baseline measurement

How will the scale of the problem/issue be identified prior to the service improvement. What will be used to measure this?

SI Intervention  

Description of the intervention(s), i.e. what is it that is being implemented? The specific activities and tools introduced into a healthcare system with the aim of changing its performance for the better.

Methodology

Measures chosen for studying outcomes of the intervention(s), i.e. survey research, including rationale for choosing them, and validity/reliability issues

SI Strategy

Details of strategy (i.e. PDSA) to be employed and how this will be utilised.

Analysis

How will the findings be presented?

(e.g., time-line diagram, flow chart, or table)

Ethical Considerations

Ethical aspects of implementing and studying the intervention(s) and how they will be addressed

Conclusions

Potential for spread to other contexts/Implications for practice and for further study in the field

Section 3: Personal factors

Approx 2,500 words

What is your role in the SI and how will you manage it?

Team characteristics

Who will be involved in the SI

Personal attributes

Personal skills (strengths, weaknesses, etc.)/leadership style, etc.

Environmental factors

Environmental factors that need to be addressed organizational dynamics, collaboration, resources, leadership

Adapted from: 

Revised Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence (SQUIRE 2.0)

September 15, 2015