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WHY Fronts: Quality Christmas

4 December, 2019

Author: Chris Woodgate, Quality Improvement Partner, SCoR & RCR

It is that time of year again when I write the Christmas edition of WHY Fronts: October. I am still hiding under the quilt pretending it isn’t happening.  

I know there are some of you who will have bought, wrapped and delivered your gifts even as the December edition comes through the letter box; alas I am not one of those. 

I am a last minute, rush job, ‘that will do’ type of person where Christmas is concerned, although I am more organised than the proverbial petrol station shop on Christmas Eve.

Perhaps this year I can take a leaf out of my own book and take a ‘staged approach’, as is found within the QSI support information. What might that look like?

  • Stage 1: Organisational ‘buy in’ – I can assure that the organisation (my family) is totally committed to Christmas, however, like many finance departments, the bank may not be as fully committed to my projected spend as I wish.
  • Stage 2: Gap Analysis – This for me is the easy bit. What do I need compared to what I have? At this moment in time, I have nothing, therefore I need to sit down and write a list of what I do need e.g. Christmas cards (or donation to charity), small gifts for distant relatives, large gifts for closer relatives and a huge piles for children/grandchildren.  Then I need to decide the content of a ‘huge pile’ lots of cheap and cheerful or several expensive? Plus with younger members do I need to wait till nearer the day when the Christmas adverts are at their most persuasive?
  • Stage 3: Service development – this is when I fill the ‘gap’: I have to start doing the shopping (small shudder ensues). Perhaps starting with the cards, or not, then the distant relatives as I may have to deliver well before the day. Then the nearest and dearest, giving me time to think about it and give gifts which show some thought and care for the recipient.  Then I have to check with the ‘other half’ that they are happy with the projected spend and that all bases have been covered (making sure I haven’t forgotten anyone).
  • Stage 4: Accreditation – for me I think this will be when I have everything wrapped and ready to go and Father Christmas is expected at any minute to ensure that my gift giving measurers up to his standard. Presents etc. delivered to the correct addresses and then wait with baited breath for the verdict from the recipients. How many requests for gift receipts will I get, how many re-giftings will I recognise in the following months, how many looks of delight as packages are opened or dismay hidden behind polite faces?  The highs and lows of a quality Christmas.
  • Stage 5: Surveillance programme to re-accreditation.  Can I be sensible this year and keep the Christmas card list and the gift list so I don’t repeat any mistakes next year and/or remember the gifts which went down particularly well? Maybe I could even add to this over the year as children mature and the type of gifts change with age, so I am not sticking to too much of a standardised routine but allow room for improvement?

This is written with my tongue firmly in my cheek, a little bit of Christmas frivolity, but are there any lessons we can learn for service improvement and working towards the Quality Standard for Imaging? 

The stages are very real, and the College’s support is a gift that will keep giving over the year. For Christmas this year, why not think about your service and give it a ‘wash and brush up’ with the QSI staged approach?  

I am always ready to help and support and the 5 stages can be found at www.rcr.ac.uk/qsi  or www.sor.org/qsi.

Seasons greeting to you all I hope you have a marvellous time!

Chris Woodgate
QI Partner RCR/SCoR

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