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Programs Clinical Practice Improvement

Clinical Practice Improvement Training Program

Training for clinicians to improve quality of care delivered and improve patient outcomes.

The CPI methodology provides a framework whereby clinicians can undertake a comprehensive diagnostic of the causes of process failures which lead to inefficiencies and/or patient harm and design solutions to continuously improve care for patients.

Program Overview

The basic principles of Clinical Practice Improvement include the following:

  • Health care is a process which can be analysed
  • Both the process and the outcomes of clinical work can be measured
  • Profound knowledge of the processes of care exist within individuals who work in the system, in particular 'microsystems'
  • Multi disciplinary teamwork and the design of novel solutions are essential in effecting improvements in health process
  • There is the will and leadership to implement change.

CPI methodology provides a framework whereby clinicians can undertake a comprehensive diagnostic of the causes of process failures which lead to inefficiencies and/or patient harm and design solutions to continuously improve care and outcomes for patients.

Basic principles of Clinical Practice Improvement

Basic principles of Clinical Practice diagram
The above model for the Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle was based on the work of Nolan, James, Berwick and Shewart and many other proponents of quality improvement. The diagrammatic representation of the process was developed by G. Rubin and B. Harrison for NSW Health (for the Clinical Practice ImprovementSteering Group) 2000.

The Clinical Excellence Commission provides Clinical Practice Improvement (CPI) training to front line clinicians in NSW Health organisations. The CEC works closely with Local Health Districts, Sydney Children's Hospitals' Network (Randwick and Westmead), Justice Health and Ambulance Service, QualityManagers, to build the capacity and capability for them to support healthcare improvement projects and teams within Public Health Organisations (PHOs).

The CEC has recently established a CPI Advisor Network, for more information contact - Cathy Vinters 02 9269 5509 .

CPI Program Objectives

The program aims to improve the safety and quality of care to patients through:

  • Enhancing the knowledge of clinicians about quality Improvement theory
  • Improve the ability of clinicians to identify causes of process failures within their clinical teams
  • Enhancing clinicians' personal and professional leadership skills (teamwork)
  • Equipping healthcare facilities with personnel who can apply improvement methodology to effect change; implement evidence based practice and address problems arising out of root cause analyses
  • Designing effective solutions using plan, do, study, act (PDSA) tests of change
  • Awareness of microsystem re-engineering, human factors and reliable design principles
  • Foundation in measuring for quality using statistical process control charts
  • Spreading and sustaining change and improvement.

How do staff get involved in CPI training?

The CEC offers CPI training as:

A one day workshop which is suitable for clinicians who are part of a project team and teaches the use of quality improvement tools - DOC ~900kb

A two day workshop which provides more in depth training for staff who are required to lead improvement teams - DOC ~325kb

RACP CPI program 2015 for RACP advanced trainees and recent fellows in training, commences for the fourth year in April 2015.
A brochure with more information and application form are attached. Completed application form and covering letter to be returned to the RACP by COB Wednesday25th March 2015.

  • Brochure for more information - PDF ~428kb - Application form - DOCX ~579kb

  • Staff who are interested in undertaking face to face CPI training should contact their quality manager through the Clinical Governance Unit at their Local Health Districts. Alternatively staff can contact the CEC directly on 02 9269 5509.

    In addition to face to face training, the CEC, in collaboration with NSW Health, Health Service Performance Improvement Branch (HSPIB), has developed E-Learning modules (on the GEM platform) in healthcare improvement methods including CPI methodology enabling CPI training to be undertaken online. These modules are freely available to staff working for NSW Health PHO's.


    Program Leader, Clinical Practice Improvement (CPI) Training


    Enhancing Project Spread and Sustainability:
    A Companion to the Easy Guide to Clinical Practice Improvement

    Enhancing Project Spread and Sustainability aims to provide helpful tips and practical advice to clinicians and health managers on how to improve and assess the spread and sustainability of clinical practice improvement (CPI) projects in a systematic way. - Published, August 2008

    • Enhancing Project Spread and Sustainability - PDF ~404kb


    • Cheat sheet for quality tools - PDF ~312kb

    • PDSA - A template to keep track of PDSA cycles - DOC ~375kb

    • Project team groundwork - A worksheet to keep the team on track with their outcomes and expectations - DOC ~40kb

    • Quality measurement data collection tools - Pre formatted Excel worksheets to enable entering of data and graphs etc will populate from entered data - XLS ~265kb

    • Project Gantt chart - a timeline for team to enter projects into to keep on track - XLS ~28kb


    Please direct queries and correspondence to:

    CPI Training Program Leader
    Cathy Vinters
    Clinical Excellence Commission
    Locked Bag A4062
    Sydney South NSW 1235

    Phone: 9269 5509

    Useful Links
    GEM has been designed to provide access to learning opportunities for all staff working within the NSW Health system. This website is divided into the key themes for learning, being:

    • Redesign Methodology
    • Introduction to Project Management
    • Patient And Carer Experience(PACE)
    • Patient & Client Relationships
    • Clinical Excellence Commission
    • Patient Flow (under development)
    • Take the Lead

    The modules within each of the categories will provide the learner with the core competencies to actively engage in the required activities associated with each area of learning.
    IHI is a small organization with a big mission. It welcomes anyone committed to improving patient care to get involved in their work.
    Intermountain Health Care, Inc., DBA as Intermountain Healthcare, and formerly known as Intermountain Health Care (IHC), is a non-profit healthcare system and is the largest healthcare providerin the Intermountain West. Intermountain Healthcare provides hospital and other medical services in Utah and Idaho. Intermountain Healthcare is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and currently employs over 32,000 people.
    The Australian Resource Centre for Healthcare Innovations (ARCHI) is a unique national information and networking service for health professionals.

    ARCHI supports innovation in health care delivery by disseminating resources and fostering connections between health care providers and service managers who are involved in implementing change.
    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) research provides evidence-based information on health care outcomes; quality; and cost, use, and access.
    The National Patient Safety Agency leads and contributes to improved, safe patient care by informing, supporting and influencing the health sector.
    The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement supports the NHS to transform healthcare for patients and the public by rapidly developing and spreading new ways of working, new technology and world-class leadership.