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Midwives' evaluation of their role in crowdsourcing activities to improve the maternity experience: part 2

02 July 2019
12 min read
Volume 27 · Issue 7

Abstract

Background

Although all members of staff can be involved in improving the quality of maternity services, midwives can identify areas in need of improvement through their relationships with women and their families, and can influence care through activities such as crowdsourcing.

Aims

A service evaluation was undertaken to explore how midwives who attended the workshop viewed their involvement in crowdsourcing, and to examine whether midwives who attended the workshop considered themselves as agents of change for quality improvement in maternity care.

Methods

A generic qualitative approach was selected. Data were collected using face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with six midwives who attended the workshop.

Findings

Four key themes emerged from analysing the data: improving communication, experiencing different perspectives, shared learning, and positivity.

Conclusions

Involving stakeholders as a ‘crowd’ to find solutions to problems in care is successful and highly rewarding. Midwife participants took pride in sharing their ideas for improvement.

This is the second of two articles on crowdsourcing. In the first article (Frewin and Church 2019), crowdsourcing was introduced as an innovative way to find solutions to issues in practice. Defined as a process by which problems can be solved by using ideas sourced from a group of people (Howe, 2006), crowdsourcing can be used to discover rich and relatively low-cost ideas to improve the maternity experience.

The need for improvement in maternity services has been highlighted in national enquires (Kirkup, 2015) and is the subject of regular review by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Although there is no single definition of quality improvement, there is a general agreement that ‘improving quality is about making healthcare safe, effective, patient-centred, timely, efficient and equitable’ (The Health Foundation, 2013:3). Quality improvement methods should be systematic and robust, and able to focus on evaluation, action and change. This article will focus on two principles of quality improvement: engaging staff, and involving service users and in solutions (Department of Health, 2008).

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