Alumni Showcase: Ansie Prinsloo

We celebrate with our alumnus, Dr Ansie Prinsloo by sharing her journey to remarkability

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Dr Ansie Prinsloo is a Da Vinci Doctoral Degree holder who embraces the notion of seeking her truth and treads the path of remarkability, by continually thinking outside the box and garnering her own relevant truths, in her quest to make abundant improvements within the healthcare sector.

On speaking of her Doctoral thesis, Dr Prinsloo explains that her thesis, titled, Enhancing healthcare delivery through a framework that integrates inclusivity and quality improvement science, “describes not only my academic work as it plays out in practice but also my passion. The research journey started as an academic inquiry about efficiency and effectiveness in my workplace. At the onset, I thought of myself as the author and creator of the content and learning. During the journey, my perfunctory understanding transcended and grew into an increasing awareness that I am in fact, both a participant and partner in a far greater creative phenomenon. As such, the thesis and I were co-creators of each other. This odyssey crystallised my life’s purpose.”

Dr Prinsloo, started in clinical healthcare within the UK’s NHS (The National Health Service). She then decided to move to South Africa and completed a post-graduate qualification in Vocational Rehabilitation. Simultaneously, she worked in medico-legal, vocational rehab, and with some NGOs. Dr Prinsloo then returned to the UK and continued working in a broad range of clinical fields, before moving into healthcare management and with a wish to influence the healthcare at the systems level. Acting within business analysis and project management roles, she decided to upskill herself further by completing an MBA. Dr Prinsloo would then move back to South Africa, after a stint as a healthcare co-creator, and at this point, to further her career prospects in healthcare management. She additionally pursued quality improvement science as her specialty, a discipline she has been in for the past 9 years.

Moreover, Dr Prinsloo recently accepted an opportunity to test her QI (Quality Improvement) approach in the mining industry, which originally comes as a contribution from her thesis. Through her work, having observed and experienced the nitty-gritty of healthcare systems and delivery protocols, Dr Prinsloo realised that such are of critical importance and require constant improvement – a task she took with aplomb and great care. The result of which led to her decision to embark on research, at Doctoral level.

Dr Prinsloo’s thesis proposes that healthcare delivery can be enhanced by integrating inclusivity and QI into the inclusivity quality improvement (IQI) framework. The IQI framework was developed by considering the origin of improvement science and contemporary applications from a sound theoretical base. The conceptual framework draws on the model for improvement (MFI), the system of profound knowledge (SOPK), the integral inclusivity framework, spiral dynamics, and business theory. Upon completion of the framework, two QI programmes were developed and implemented to inform the framework empirically.

In addition, the findings provide insights with respect to the theoretical contributions, practical application, prerequisites, and barriers to successful QI work in healthcare, and the benefits derived from the application of the IQI framework. Further, the findings emphasise that the theories used to inform the framework resulted in improvement. The two applications offered practical insights into the role of the QI lead, especially the aptitude, ability, and experience required to facilitate the improvement work. The distinct roles of the leadership in the organisational hierarchy also came to the fore, specifically with respect to communication approaches. The integrated nature of the IQI framework allowed the QI lead to facilitate the desired outcomes, which lynch on the integration of the core components of the IQI, active participation, and authentic co-ownership from role players at various levels in the system.

According to Dr Prinsloo, this study is limited to private secondary and tertiary healthcare in South Africa, and the IQI framework’s application is yet to be tested in other settings and sectors.

In this Doctoral journey, some of the characteristics that may have aided Dr Prinsloo include her profound curiosity and zeal for “achieving sustained improvement through frontline management and teams … and a longing to improve the broader [healthcare] system at which [my fellow colleagues] work”.

It may have not been an easy journey, “especially the last two years”, Dr Prinsloo says; however, she concedes that it certainly “was most meaningful and gratifying … it is one of my most significant achievements. It gave me clarity and confidence about what I believe a sustainable way to achieve improvement in partnership with people is.” Having embarked on this journey, Dr Prinsloo’s experience is that “[t]he fear and concern will always be there before you start, but you won’t regret doing it.”

On that encouraging note, The Da Vinci Institute wishes Dr Ansie Prinsloo a remarkable path forward, and may she continue to harness her remarkability!