PDSA is a specific form of practice improvement espoused by the ICIC and can be used as a way of planning and debriefing after each group medical visit or any practice improvement process. Practices are encouraged to try frequent, small tests of change to improve the care of patients with asthma, cardiovascular disease, depression, and diabetes.
P = Plan:
This is the change you want to test. It includes on whom you are testing the change, when you are testing, where you are testing, and what you expect to happen. It also includes how you will test the change and how you will collect data to “study” the change. Remember when planning to keep your initial changes small (e.g. try a new form in the office for 1 day or 1 week; see how a new process for referral to diabetes education works for the next 5 patients).
D = Do:
This is the action you take to carry out the change or test within your practice.
S = Study:
This is the process you use to study the change that was actually put in place, or tested. It should include what actually happened, including observation of problems and successes. It includes what you learned and how the outcome compares to your prediction made during planning. Again, remember to keep the “study” small (e.g. what happened over one week, with the last five patients).
A = Act:
This is the refinement of your plan as a result of the information you gained from Do and Study. It includes the changes you will make before your next PDSA cycle and your readiness to implement the change.
Improving Chronic Illness Care. www.icic.org Accessed March 8th, 2007.