‘The Pitch’- building project capacity in physiotherapy

Ms Katherine Maka1, Mr Stephen Harvey1, Mr Johnson Choi1

1Westmead Hospital, Sydney, Australia

Continuous quality improvement (QI) in a healthcare setting supports the review of current clinical and non-clinical practice to improve and enhance service provision and design. Finding time and the right sponsorship has been a challenge for embedding QI projects in physiotherapy practice.

To (1) encourage collaboration across teams, and (2) grow capability and foster a culture that is invested in the continuous cycle of implementation science.

All staff working in the physiotherapy department were invited to consider what they would like to change and/or implement. Staff formed project teams according to areas of interest or skill. Six project teams presented their ideas at an inaugural ‘The Pitch’ day. Project teams were coached through foundational Accelerating Implementation Methodology (AIM) principles

Six new quality improvement projects were initiated, involving approximately 30 staff across teams. Currently there is anecdotal evidence of individual growth in the area of project capability as well as a deeper appreciation for data and continual evaluation. Formal evaluation using qualitative methods will be conducted at the conclusion of this project.

‘The Pitch’ has been pivotal in promoting change within the department to shift a considered thinking approach for the importance of quality projects and development. Staff are engaging in both formal and informal AIM approaches, with the investment in training having a greater reach and engagement across the department. ‘The Pitch’ has seen a greater number of staff committing and participating in QI as it is now seen as relevant to daily working duties.


Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and head of department Physiotherapy, Westmead Hospital. Substantial postgraduate physiotherapy clinical practice and qualifications including MBA, Clinical Redesign and a Diploma of Leadership and Management. Expertise in strategically engaging with senior stakeholders to make critical decisions that enhance service delivery and drive an ongoing focus on quality improvement. Katherine is actively engaged in research with 9 peer-reviewed publications and over $125,000 in grant funding. She was a reviewer for the ACI Model of Care, Low Back Pain and has successfully been awarded three Western Sydney Local Health District Quality Awards and acknowledgement from both the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI).

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