PSDA CYCLE DIRECTIONS AND TEMPLATE
Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) is a tool used to plan and document your progress with tests of change conducted as part of the improvement process. PDSA can be used when starting a new improvement project, developing a new or improved process, product or service, defining a repetitive work process, implementing any change or working toward continuous improvement. Most improvement projects involve multiple PDSA cycles in order to achieve the aim.
THREE QUESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT
- What are we trying to accomplish?
- How will we know that a change is an improvement (measures)? Describe the measurable outcome(s) you want to see.
- What change we can make that will result in an improvement?
- Define the processes currently in place and identify opportunities for improvement that exist. Look for causes of problems that have occurred (perform a root cause analysis) or identify potential problems before they occur.
- Decide what you will change in the process and determine your intervention based on your analysis.
STEP 1: PLAN
Plan the test of observation, including a plan for collecting data.
- State the objective of the test. What change are you testing?
- State the questions you want to answer and make predictions about what will happen and why.
- Develop a plan to test the change. (Who will be involved? What resources do you need? How long will the change take to implement? What data need to be collected?)
- Tip: list your action steps along with the individuals responsible and a time line.
STEP 2: DO
Try out the test on a small scale.
- Carry out the test
- Document problems and unexpected observations (any problems and unexpected findings).
- Collect data you identified as needed during the “plan stage”.
- Begin analysis of the data (describe what actually happened when you ran the test).
STEP 3: STUDY
Set aside time to analyze the data and study the results.
- Complete the analysis of the data.
- Compare the data to your predictions (determine if the change resulted in the expected outcome).
- Summarize and reflect on what was learned (note implementation lessons, unintended consequences, surprises, successes, failures).
STEP 4: ACT
Refine the change, based on what was learned from the test.
- Based on what was learned from the test:
- Adapt-determine what modifications should be made.
- Adopt- consider expanding the changes in your organization to a full scale
- Abandon- change your approach and prepare a plan for the next PDSA.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
PDSA Directions and Examples
American Medical Association
Detailed Steps and Downloadable Resources