Skip to main content

The Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle is the engine that drives QI projects. Changes designed to improve a system are intentionally tested through following a series of four steps:

  • Plan the change (including making specific predictions),
  • Do or execute the change,
  • Study results of the change, and
  • Act based on what is learned.

Initial PDSA cycles on a topic typically start small, involving one or two patients, with subsequent cycles expanding in scope given positive earlier results. Intentional use of PDSA cycles accelerate teams’ learning.

The resources below are designed to assist with:

  1. Design and execute a PDSA
  2. Understand when to use a PDSA and when not to use a PDSA.