Understanding Run charts and SPC charts

You can present and analyse your data either through Run charts or through Statistical Process Control (SPC) charts. These charts allow you to plot your data over time to identify and evaluate improvements being brought about by the changes.

As well as plotting your data and identifying instances of special cause variation, Life QI also gives you the ability to add notes and plot PDSA cycles on your charts.

Find and generate charts on the 'Measures & Charts' page of your project.

What is an SPC chart?

Statistical Process Control (SPC) charts are designed to measure how a process or system changes over time. This makes them the perfect way to plot and evaluate the results of a PDSA cycle.

SPC charts work by identifying the difference between normal and unusual variation in the data, and also whether that variation is positive or negative. This means that you can quickly ascertain if a change has had an impact, and whether it is statistically significant or not.

SPC charts can tell you:

  • Whether the introduction of a new change has had an impact on the system and, if so, whether that impact has been positive or negative.
  • Whether variation is common and therefore normal, or whether it is unusual and warrants further investigation.
  • When the change has become stable and is therefore safe to implement permanently.
  • Predictions of what you can expect to happen in the future.

Learn how to create charts in Life QI