First Irish graduates of HIQA/IHI health and social care quality improvement course

Date of publication: 
Thursday, February 6, 2014

The first Irish graduates of a course in quality improvement science, jointly run by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), today received their certificates at a ceremony in Dublin.

The 90 graduates are frontline staff from ten pilot sites around the country (six nursing homes/community hospitals and four acute hospitals) and they undertook this course on a voluntary basis to learn about increasing the quality of care they provide.

Marie Kehoe-O’Sullivan, Director of Safety and Quality Improvement with HIQA, said: “This collaboration between HIQA and the IHI is the first time that the IHI has worked in partnership on a national level to roll out this online programme and it represents an important, concrete step in supporting quality improvement in Ireland’s health and social services.”

Course participants are nurses, pharmacists, health care assistants, doctors, physiotherapists, dieticians, bed managers, administrative and management staff and they were given access to specific knowledge, skills and methodologies that have been proven to effect positive change in health and social care in other countries.

The participants were provided with the quality improvement knowledge and tools necessary to; design and implement new quality improvement initiatives , measure how well they were meeting the standards, implement the changes needed and provide evidence of their progress.

“HIQA has a responsibility to support quality improvement in Ireland’s health and social services by providing education in quality improvement and this partnership with the IHI delivers that. It began for the first time last year, with participants completing a minimum of 16 modules in order to achieve the HIQA/IHI Certificate of Completion in Patient Safety, Improvement Capability, Quality Cost and Value, and Person and Family Centred Care.”

Marie Kehoe-O’Sullivan said: “We congratulate the first graduates and we will continue to work with the IHI to promote a better experience for patients and residents in Older Person services and their families and deliver improved outcomes from our health and social care services.”

Further Information: 

Sinead Whooley, Communications Manager, Health Information and Quality Authority
Tel: 01 814 7488/087 922 1941 or email:

Notes to the Editor: 
  • The pilot sites included four acute hospitals and six nursing homes – Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Naas General Hospital, Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, the Mercy University Hospital, Cork and the following nursing homes: Tara Winthrop, St Vincent’s Athy, Sacred Heart Roscommon, St Brendan’s Loughrea, St Patrick’s /Marymount Cork and St Luke’s Cork.
  • The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is an independent not-for-profit organisation based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and founded over 25 years ago. It is recognised worldwide as a leading innovator in healthcare improvement.
  • Almost 1 million health care staff have undertaken the IHI’s online programme in quality improvement science. There have been participants from all over the USA, Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, China, Portugal, the Middle East and now Ireland.
  • Students accessed the material online and completed online exams after each module. HIQA provided support in the form of a monthly tutorial session on each site that allowed for a review of course material and for Q & A and discussion around the course topics.
  • In 2014 it is planned to expand access to this programme to 250 staff from within the disability services, the National Ambulance Services, HSE Children and Family Services and also to a cohort of service users drawn from the WHO Patients for Patient Safety Network.