• Innovation in Action

Feb 19, 2020

Loop in Your Leaders for Quality Improvement Success


Well-informed leaders who are engaged in your quality improvement initiative are more likely to be invested in its success. As you prepare to launch your first (or next) improvement cycle, use these three tips to keep your leaders informed about your team’s progress.

1. Communicate regularly

If you do not already have a process for communicating about quality with your leadership team, now is the time to establish one. Consider monthly contact to coincide with the monthly data reports you will receive from HQIN. If your leadership team has a standing meeting, consider adding a quality improvement update to the agenda. Your leaders may prefer to receive updates through email or as a report. Regardless of how you communicate with your leadership team, what you communicate is most important. Points to address include:

· How your work advances the organization’s quality improvement priorities

· Status of intervention implementation and plans for the coming month

· Progress on improvement measures and targets for the coming month

· Barriers to improvement that might apply to other QI initiatives as well, or that you need leadership’s help to address

· Opportunities to engage patients and families

· As needed, recommendations for changes to policies or protocols to help sustain improvement

2. Use data to show progress and bolster recommendations

Measurement is key to understanding the impact of change. HQIN provides monthly data reports that document your performance over time. Share these reports with your leadership team and show how you are using the data to inform your PDSA cycles — it will give leaders confidence that supporting your work was the right decision. Your HQIN quality improvement advisor can help you interpret your report.

3. Celebrate successes and failures

When you use data to drive improvement, you know when you have been successful and when you have not. Celebrate your successes by identifying the best practices or processes that produced results, and make recommendations for sustaining and spreading them. Failures should be celebrated, too. Through failure, you learn what practices or processes won’t work for your organization. This frees you to try other tactics that are a better fit.