Use of an Appreciative Inquiry Approach to Enhance Quality Improvement in Management of Patient Care

Author(s): Luhalima TR, Mulaudzi FM, Phetlhu DR

Background: Different approaches are available to facilitate employees’ motivation, involving them in decision making and participating in different activities. Due to changes and the widespread dissatisfaction with the management of the current South African health system, various approaches to enhance quality improvement in management have emerged. However, their effects on the quality of care have been unsatisfactory. This article describes how an appreciative inquiry was used to facilitate motivation and promote organisational quality improvement in the management of patient care.

Methods: The AI approach which comprises an appreciative topic and acting on this theme through the 5-D cycle: namely Definition of the affirmative topic, Discovery, Dream, Design, and Destiny was used.

Results: An appreciative inquiry approach offered employees an opportunity to reflect on the existing strengths within their practice situation, leading them to discover what is important and enhance quality improvement in the management of patient care in South Africa. Furthermore, AI is reported to have significant transformational as it has shifted the focus from problems to be solved to discovering and building on what works well within an organisation and used that as the starting point for implementing change.

Conclusions: New approaches such as AI have the potential to improve patient care and enhance individual and group motivation by changing the way participants think about, approach, and imagine the future.

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