Thursday, January 27, 2011

Model for Improvement

Authors Langley and Nolan developed a quality improvement model titled the "Model for Improvement."  As with most quality improvement models, the framework appears to be simple but implementation and follow-through require commitment to achieve improvement goals.  The model consists of three questions:
  1. What are you trying to accomplish?  The answer to this question should result in a written "aim" statement that will serve as a goal for the improvement process.  It is should specific and achievable.  If your goal is to lose weight, the specific aim statement might be, "Lose 25 pounds by May 1."
  2. How will we know that a change is an improvement?  If you were happy yesterday and happy today, how can you quantify the difference?  Any type of change can only be assessed by establishing measurement criteria.  The measurement for the weight loss aim might be number of pounds gained/lost per week.  You might also count the calories consumed or the number of servings of vegetables.
  3. What change can we make that will result in improvement?  Only by looking at the activities in your life can you select elements that can be changed.  In future blog posts I will discuss cause/effect diagrams and process charts to help select critical points where change would have the most impact. 
The questions can be addressed in any order.  The questions presented in this modeled can be paired with the plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycle, which will be discussed on a future blog post.

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