PDSA Overview

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PQI and the PDSA Process

PDSA stands for “Plan – Do – Study – Act,” a four-step process commonly used for continuous quality improvement. This simple but powerful tool may serve as the basis for an action-oriented iterative process by linking multiple PDSA cycles repeated in sequence. An initial cycle is performed to obtain baseline data, followed by subsequent cycles applied to assess the effects of quality improvement initiatives. PQI participants should be familiar with this process.

PLAN. An area of your practice judged to be in need of improvement is identified, and a measure is devised to assess the degree of need. A plan is developed to implement the measure and obtain the required data. Finally, a target or goal for the measure to be reached is set.

DO. Your plan is set in motion, and data are collected.

STUDY. You determine how well your measure compared to the desired goal. Root causes for lacking goal achievement are explored.

ACT. You consider what can be done to address the root causes and develop an improvement plan to implement in the next PDSA cycle.

After improvement plan implementation, another PDSA cycle is begun to assess the degree of any gain achieved. The cycle can be used continuously until the goal is reached or employed intermittently to document the stability of any gain achieved.

More detailed PDSA information is given in the other sections on Individual PQI Projects, Group PQI Projects, and Institutional and Organizational PQI Projects, with templates that can be used as step-by-step guides in completing your projects.

Remember that you must attest to your PQI activity using your myABR account. Please click to access myABR.