Sustainability in Quality Improvement

The Sustainability in Quality Improvement framework (SusQI) is an approach to improving healthcare in a holistic way, by assessing quality and value through the lens of a “triple bottom line”. In SusQI, the health outcomes of a service are measured against its environmental, social and economic costs and impacts to determine its “sustainable value”.  The framework was developed by CSH with partners, including at the Royal College of Physicians.

SusQI embeds the CSH principles of sustainable clinical practice: prevention, patient empowerment and self-care, lean clinical pathways and low carbon alternatives.

Including sustainability and resource stewardship in QI allows health professionals to respond to ethical challenges such as climate change and social inequalities. It also benefits the QI process itself: inspiring new energy for change, highlighting wastes and opportunities otherwise overlooked, and directing projects systematically towards the highest value improvements.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has developed a model QI curriculum which incorporates sustainable healthcare principles and sustainable value. SusQI can be seen working in practice through the CSH Green Ward programme, and CSH may be able to provide support for integrating the approach to NHS Trusts or any organisations working in healthcare improvement.

SusQI Resources:

  1. Sustainability in quality improvement: redefining value.  Mortimer F, Isherwood J, Wilkinson A, Vaux E. Future Healthcare Journal, 2018 Vol.5(2):88-93
  2. Sustainability in quality improvement: measuring impact. Mortimer F, Isherwood J, Pearce M, Kenward C, Vaux E. Future Healthcare Journal, 2018 Vol.5(2):94-97
  3. CSH SusQI open access learning resources - a toolkit for integrating sustainability into your QI project
  4. Academy of Medical Royal College's model QI curriculum
  5. Sustainable Healthcare Special Interest Group for the Health Foundation Q Community (non-members of Q are welcome as guests)
  6. CSH Green Ward Competition - a programme for NHS Trusts to inspire and support clinical teams to run SusQI projects 
  7. CSH Sustainability School: Sustainability in QI one-day training courses