SEAchange: Guide to a pragmatic evidence-based approach to Sustainable, Effective and Appropriate change in health services

Large complex healthcare projects are usually well resourced and have project teams with the appropriate range of skills to achieve change. However health services always have multiple smaller projects underway. Staff undertaking these projects are often chosen because their clinical acumen, sense of responsibility and willingness to take on new challenges sets them apart from their colleagues. However, although they may be excellent clinicians and managers, they often lack knowledge and skills in how to plan and deliver change initiatives.

There are many reasons why these small projects often do not meet their objectives, or meet them temporarily only to fail once the project supports are removed. Lack of a systematic approach to development, implementation and evaluation is one of them.

The SEAchange model is based on a few simple rules that anyone can apply. It is an evidence-based approach that can be used by health service staff who have no training in health service improvement methods; those starting out who want to take an evidence-based approach from the beginning; those who have been involved in projects that have been unsuccessful and want to try a new approach; and those who are experienced at managing change successfully but are interested in a different viewpoint.