Introduction to the QIF Course

Press PLAY to find out how this course has helped dozens of Critical Access Hospitals and Nursing Homes around the country to make real, sustainable improvement.

Do you want to start seeing improvement in your organization?

As a QIF Member, you will also receive weekly updates from within the Improvement sector, as well as a case study focusing on a specific medical condition.

Course Breakdown

What does the course cover?

Module 1: Introduction to the Improvement Sciences

This first module is simply an introduction to the improvement sciences or as we know it in healthcare “quality improvement”.  in this first module I outline the impact the improvement sciences has had upon the world’s economy.  if I cannot make this topic interesting there’s probably little chance that you will learn anything.  In this module I also talk about the differences between quality control, quality assurance and finally what we are after, “quality improvement”.

Module 2: Introduction to the Model for Improvement

Module number two has to do specifically with introducing the “Model for Improvement”.  This methodology has had worldwide success in the past 30 + years and is extremely easy way to make sense of complex processes and systems.  You will learn that at the core, the Model for Improvement is nothing more than the PDSA cycle(a.k.a. science) cycle preceded by three questions that seem to have manifest utility, meaning, the three questions are valid in almost any situation where you wish to improve.  The great thing about the Model for Improvement is that it fits in nicely with other Improvement methodologies.  After all, all Improvement essentially boils down to testing and implementing change from moving to a small-scale to large-scale and this is where the Model works quite nicely

Module 3: Question One of the Model for Improvement, the “aim”

As you can imagine, construction workers never start building the house until the foundation is in place and they have a blueprint in order to go off of.this is where the third module takes us into a deep dive into how to answer the first question “what are we trying to accomplish?”. without answering this first question in a very detailed way we will find that we are quickly spinning our wheels.  not strictly defining what we’re trying to accomplish with a name often leads to confusion anxiety and little Improvement.  In this module we describe the five essential components of a solid aim statement.

Module 4: Tools Commonly used during Improvement Projects

In this module will be exploring some very simple tools that I have found to be very very powerful in the field.  After almost 20 years of experience, I believe I have a very firm hold on what essential tools make for an excellent improver!

Module 5:  Question Two of the Model for Improvement

The second question of the Model for Improvement is “how will we know A change is an improvement?”. Question 2 essentially is measurement.  I break this into two sections this being the first and deals with an introduction to measurement for improvement which is way different than research methodology or the typical means by which people use data in the hospital setting today in the United States.  this 5th module will introduce you to measurement as a technique used in Improvement.  without an understanding of measurement how can we hope to get anywhere, how can we hope to accomplish anything?

Module 6:  Appreciating Random Variation and the Run Chart

In this module we complete the learning of the second question of the Model for Improvement is “how will we know A change is an improvement?” Here we will learn how to appreciate random variation and how to use the most popular tool on an improvers tool belt, the “run chart”.  without using a run chart to appreciate random variation what we often do is start chasing our tail and start reacting to the most recent data point by comparing it to the previous datapoint and acting as if the difference between the two points in time are meaningful.  will find that without appreciation of random variation you will often times be shooting yourself in the foot.  And this is where the run chart will come in. It is a very simple and elegant tool to plot data over time in order to see when change has led to an improvement.

Module 7: Testing our Change ideas using PDSA Cycles

The scientific method also known as PDSA was gradually refined and honed during the decades between the 1950s and the end of the 20th century.  would still eludes 99% of healthcare workers is how to run real effective PDSA cycles.  Also known as “plan do study act”, PDSA is utilized to take a simple idea and test it on a small scale and then ramp up the testing it to a larger environment and finally when evidence supports the change we moved to implementation.  the other fascinating thing about running cycles is that clinical people already know how to do this and do it on a day-to-day basis at work.

Module 8: Question Three of the Model for Improvement “what changes can we make that will result in Improvement?

This module shows there’s no great mystery in coming up with change ideas to test using PDSA cycles, but there are quite a few road blocks along the way where we can get stuck.  Perhaps the most interesting part of this module is learning the difference between first order change and second-order change.  And never forget this module is needed because “all Improvement requires change, yet not all change results in Improvement”!  So the big question is “how do we come up with Improvement ideas?”

Module 9: More on Measurement Advanced Run Chart Techniques and other Methods

This module is important because we want to learn a few more measurement tricks before we leave the 10th module.  maybe calling these techniques “advanced”  isn’t quite as accurate as it is to call them “absolutely needed measuremnt skills” for your improvers “tool belt”.

Module 10: Case Study of a Typical Improvement Project “Antibiotics within 4 hours of arrival”

This final module is an attempt to wrap up the previous nine by giving a very simple case study of a project that just happened to be a wonderful example of the combination of measurement tools and Improvement techniques needed to get Improvement in a very rapid paced environment.  this particular project was selected because it’s so rich with great learning examples