Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Cycle

QualityTool

Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Cycle

Description

The Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle is part of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Model for Improvement, a simple yet powerful tool for accelerating quality improvement. Once a team has set an aim, established its membership, and developed measures to determine whether a change leads to an improvement, the next step is to test a change in the real work setting. The PDSA cycle is shorthand for testing a change—by planning it, trying it, observing the results, and acting on what is learned. This is the scientific method, used for action-oriented learning.

The steps in the PDSA cycle are:

  • Step 1: Plan—Plan the test or observation, including a plan for collecting data
  • Step 2: Do—Try out the test on a small scale
  • Step 3: Study—Set aside time to analyze the data and study the results
  • Step 4: Act—Refine the change, based on what was learned from the test
The site also includes:
  • Linking tests of change
  • Testing multiple changes
  • Tips for testing changes
  • Example of a test of change
  • PDSA worksheet
  • Project planning form

Developer:

Associates in Process Improvement

Funding Sources:

Institute for Healthcare Improvement

History

Release Date: 2008
Original Summary: November 2008
Last Updated: 04/10/13

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