The most difficult part of improving processes is making the necessary changes. The PDSA cycle is the “scientific method” of quality improvement. Changes need to be tested before mandated for the whole organization. If a change is NOT an improvement, then we need to abandon it and try something else.
Plan: This step requires that tasks be outlined, someone be accountable for each of the tasks, a timeline be developed and a method developed to assess the progress. The Action Plan form helps with this action step.
Do: This means carrying out the change as outlined in the Action Plan.
Study: Has the change resulted in an improvement? What data do you have to show this?
Act: This step asks that you either act to hold the gain and “hardwire” the new process in the organization because the results were positive, or you abandon the change because it did not result in an improvement.
Once the Action Plan has been completed (click for an example of a completed action plan), it is important to know who will want to learn about your improvement activities. If a senior leader has requested work on a particular process, then he/she may want a presentation to a particular group. The Accountability Report is meant to assist with that task.