05. Decide Home
5a. Service touchpoints
and hotspots

Identifying the key places where patient and healthcare
services interact and where to make change
5b. SWIFT ideas
Selecting and transforming improvement ideas


Tool 5b. SWIFT ideas

SWIFT ideas

SWIFT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Individuality, Fixes and Transformation.

Each improvement idea is assessed for its strengths and weaknesses, and its individuality (what makes it different). Fixes (solutions to the weaknesses) are identified and the improvement idea is transformed (changed).

Why use it
The SWIFT tool enables you to:
• Take a considered approach to all improvement ideas including out of the box ones.
• Assessing your ideas against set criteria.
• Make robust, well-informed and transparent decisions about service improvements.
• Select the most viable improvements from
a larger list and improve them.

When to use it
Use SWIFT when you have a number of good potential improvements you need to develop
and perhaps prioritise.


01. Identify and list your improvements

02. For each improvement complete the swift analysis template

03. Identify which improvements to prioritise
Review the list for improvements that are higher value for both patients and staff.

  • Have someone own and champion each improvement during the session.
  • Keep your descriptions of strengths, weaknesses, individuality
    and fixes succinct – a few words at most.
  • Allow anything from 15 minutes to an hour per improvement
    (it depends on both the improvement and the size of your team).
  • Split your SWIFT exercise into a number of brief sessions rather
    than an extended one if possible (this keeps people fresh).
  • Make sure your focus on strengths and individuality is balanced with weaknesses and fixes.
Tool 5b
Swift analysis template

Download this template

Template Instructions

  • Identify key strengths and weaknesses of each improvement. Strengths are typically the qualities that make the idea attractive, while weaknesses are those that may cause difficulty and/or include elements that may need to be prevented or resolved. Beware of emphasising weaknesses and difficulties over strengths - be positive about the idea.
  • Explore what makes each improvement especially individual – new, different, better and/or original.
  • Prioritise the weaknesses and brainstorm ways to fix the key ones, then others.
    Be specific in addressing each weakness – avoid combining them under one fix. The aim is to strengthen, evolve and develop the improvement (not to find further reasons why it can’t work). Beware of assuming any particular weakness is impossible to solve, and note any circumstances where weaknesses might not apply or be easier to resolve.
  • ‘Transform’ the improvement into its final form. To do this, review your work on it (as above) and rewrite in a single simple statement.
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