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New Practical Guide to Quality Improvement in Burn Care

News | 08/01/2021

A practical guide for healthcare workers in low-resourced settings has been published, which sets out to help those who want to make changes to the quality of care in their burn unit using 8 practical steps.

In low-resourced settings, there is often an idea that extra funding or resources are needed to make changes before changes can be made to improve patient outcomes or increase efficiency in the way of working.  At the Centre for Global Burn Injury Policy and Research we do not believe this. Using what is already available, and helped with enthusiasm and motivation, healthcare professionals in low-resource settings can make huge differences to the quality of care in their units.

This philosophy is what underpinned the development of this Guide and the Quality Improvement course run by the Centre in 2019 in Malawi. The course’s fundamental aim was to empower nurses to create their own quality improvement project from an asset-based perspective, meaning they are working with what they have in order to improve the patient outcomes and the quality of care.

The Practical Guide to Quality Improvement in Burn Care, that is the result of this course, helps the reader to work through eight practical steps to identify, make a plan, and measure the change they are working to bring about. The Guide makes use of the real-life projects executed by the participants of the nurses course in Quality Improvement in Malawi. This means real-life, practical examples are used throughout to show how QI processes can work, with enthusiasm, creativity and staff effort.

The course was hugely successful, and we are delighted to share the nurses’ projects, and the principles the nurses used to create their project in this new Guide. The successful projects from the nurses at their burn units in Ethiopia and Malawi include projects to increase hand hygiene on burn wards, introduction of a screen for patient privacy during dressing changes, and increase of accurate prescription of pain medication.

The Practical Guide is freely available online and to download to use from our website for nurses and other health care professionals in low-and-middle-income countries.


The Centre and operational partner Interburns will use this Practical Guide next to a more in-depth Implementation & Improvement Science Course for health professionals to build capacity in low-resourced burn units. The Implementation & Improvement Science Course will be available online on the Interburns website soon.

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