Quality improvement in pediatric nephrology—a practical guide

  • Marie-Michele Gaudreault-Tremblay
  • Rory F. McQuillan
  • Rulan S. Parekh
  • Damien Noone


Improving quality of care delivery is an important focus for all practicing physicians. Frontline clinicians are in a great position to identify clinical problems and find innovative solutions. The current review describes the method used for quality improvement based on the Model for Improvement, a structural framework to guide improvement work. At its basis are three fundamental questions: What are we trying to accomplish? How will I know that a change will lead to improvement? And what changes could we make that will result in improvement? This preparation phase aims to identify and understand the problem, choose an intervention, and determine reliable measures to gauge improvement. The intervention is then tested using PLAN-DO-STUDY-ACT (PDSA) cycles, an iterative approach to systematically improve processes and outcomes. PLAN focuses on defining the goal of the cycle and describing in details what will be done. DO concentrates on the concrete application of the plan. STUDY focuses on data analyses as ACT identifies lessons learned from the cycle and orientate the goals of the following PDSA cycle. Learning from each cycle, developing an interdisciplinary team and repeated interventions are core principles involved in implementing a sustainable quality improvement program. The Model for Improvement will be illustrated by a common quality problem in pediatric nephrology.


Quality improvement Model for improvement Pediatric nephrology Vaccination 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© IPNA 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Nephrology, The Hospital for Sick ChildrenUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Division of Nephrology, University Health NetworkUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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