Course Title: Quality Improvement for Health Care Professionals

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Quality Improvement for Health Care Professionals

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences

Distance / Correspondence

Sem 2 2008


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012

Course Coordinator: A/Professor Lina Shahwan-Akl

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7389

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.06.04

Course Coordinator Availability: telephone or email appointments

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Registration as a Division 1 nurse

Course Description

This flexible learning course was developed in response to an identified need for a way for students to learn about quality improvement at their work places. Throughout the eleven modules in this course, activities have been included. These activities are designed to assist students to put the theory into practice and ensure that they understand the principles being presented. An important part of this course is the completion of a quality improvement project.

Students will conduct the project as part of a team, of which they may be the leader or a team member. This gives students an exciting opportunity to put quality improvement into action in their own workplace. The flexible learning package contains all the study materials needed to complete the course.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The dimensions of capability developed in the course include:

  • 2. Analysis, synthesis and integration of knowledge and application to practice
  • 3. Advanced knowledge in specialised area
  • 6. Operate as a team member to lead, manage and contribute to an enabling environment that promotes safety, health and human dignity

At the completion of the course you should be able to:

  • Discuss and synthesise the dimensions of QI in advanced nursing practice.
  • Examine critically the knowledge and skills of advanced QI processes and the links to clinical decision making
  • Discuss and critically apply contemporary QI knowledge to QI documentation processes.
  • Develop and utilise critical thinking processes and problem solving skills in order to effectively undertake a QI project.
  • Critically apply contemporary QI knowledge to QI processes in the practice setting.

The underpinning knowledge and skills developed in the course includes:

  • Knowledge of and skills to discuss critically quality improvement practice issues in any nursing or health care practice setting.
  • Advanced knowledge of the QI process and the links to clinical decision-making in workplace settings.
  • Advanced knowledge and skills in the use of QI tools in health care and related settings.
  • Advanced knowledge of team processes and QI project processes.
  • Advanced QI knowledge and skills in presenting QI information findings to multidisciplinary groups at agency QI forums.

Overview of Learning Activities

  • Readings, and case scenarios.
  • Literature review related to QI project.
  • Self directed learning exercises.
  • Case scenarios undertaken in the practice setting or with staff from the practice setting.

Overview of Learning Resources

  • Self-directed learning exercises, additional readings, and case scenarios provided in a self –directed package.
  • Additional materials via myRMIT Studies

Overview of Assessment

The assessment requirements for this course are listed below. A more detailed description of what is required is described in the self-directed learning package.

The course assessment has three components:

  1. a project outline (2-3 pages) 30%
  2. a completed quality improvement project 30%
  3. verbal presentation using a storyboard to display the findings of the quality improvement project. 40%

1. The project outline value 30%

The project outline is a short succinct outline of what project the student intends to do, and when they are going to do it. Joint projects between two or more students are permitted, provided people other than the students are involved on the project team (an example is included in the package).

2. The quality improvement project value 30%

The project must be conducted as a quality improvement project:

  • a project team must be set up which is representative of the professional or functional groups involved in the process being studied; such as several maternal and child health nurses, a maternal and child health coordinator and a line manager;
  • if possible, the student should request his/her manager to set up a guidance team for the project;
  • the project must be conducted using the seven step method (see Module 7, p. 135)
  • data must be presented in graphical form: and
  • at least three of the continuous quality improvement tools must be used, and preferably more.

3. Verbal presentation using a storyboard 40%

The basis of the presentation will be a storyboard (basically, a poster), and the verbal presentation must support and expand on the storyboard. (Storyboards are explained in detail in Module 10, page 245 of the Course). The size of the storyboard is not important, as long as it is appropriate for convenient display on a wall, a pin up board or an easel. The size is often dictated by the available size of the card that is used. The storyboard may consist also of several small posters, which together tell the story.

The presentation may be supported with any other type of visual aid as well as the storyboard. However, if students intend to use other visual aids they must make sure the appropriate equipment is available for their presentation. The date and venue for the presentation is to be organised with subject coordinator.