What are the critiques of using the PDSA model framework for a nursing practice innovation?
Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) is a cyclical model which is designed to provide a systematic approach to quality improvement in practice. The process is iterative in nature; the intention is for the practitioner to repeat the cycle multiple times, learning from previous attempts each time in order to move closer towards an optimal solution.
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There are a few limitations with the model however. While it is possible to take a qualitative approach with the model, its emphasis on clearly measurable outcomes makes it much better suited to effecting improvements which are quantifiable in nature. This therefore limits its usefulness in certain scenarios – for example, those related to patients’ perceptions or quality of life.
There are also some circumstances in which an iterative methodology is not practical or may not be ethical – for example, in scenarios where the potential negative consequences of the change are too serious. As a result, PDSA is a model that is useful for certain types of change, but is not universally applicable.
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