Background Numerous international policy drivers espouse the need to improve healthcare. The application of Improvement Science has the potential to restore the balance of healthcare and transform it to a more person-centred and quality improvement focussed system. However there is currently no accredited Improvement Science education offered routinely to healthcare students. This means there are a huge number of healthcare professionals who do not have the conceptual or experiential skills to apply Improvement Science in everyday practice. Methods This article describes how seven European Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) worked together to develop four evidence informed accredited inter-professional Improvement Science modules for under and postgraduate healthcare students. It outlines the way in which a Policy Delphi, a narrative literature review, a review of the competency and capability requirements for healthcare professionals to practice Improvement Science, and a mapping of current Improvement Science education informed the content of the modules. Results A contemporary consensus definition of Healthcare Improvement Science was developed. The four Improvement Science modules that have been designed are outlined. A framework to evaluate the impact the modules have in practice has been developed and piloted. Conclusion The authors argue there is a clear need to advance healthcare Improvement Science education through incorporating evidence based accredited modules into healthcare professional education. They suggest if Improvement Science education, that incorporates work based learning, becomes a staple part of the curricula in inter-professional education it has real promise to improve the delivery, quality and design of healthcare.
- Improvement Science education