July 2020 marks the 5th anniversary of the creation of the Institute for High Quality Care – giving me a moment to pause and reflect on our work; on our alumni, partners, and supporters; and on what the spirit of IHQC truly is.
IHQC officially launched in July 2015 with the aim to support safety net healthcare, to translate improvement tools and techniques into accessible approaches for all roles in healthcare, and to build problems solvers. For me, leading the creation and growth of IHQC; working with a team of brilliant, funny and passionate staff; collaborating with faculty, funders, and colleagues; and supporting the best in healthcare delivery – has been an honor, a challenge, and a joy.
IHQCFive Years Later – What I’ve Learned through IHQC
“You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.”
~ Maya Angelou
At the Institute for High Quality Care (IHQC), we believe in the linkages between equity, social justice and health. We seek to invest time, to listen, and to support improvements where we can.
We believe in addressing the social determinants of health – so that we can better understand the upstream, the root causes, and make positive changes. However, we consistently observe the repeated affronts to equity, social justice, and health. We witness communities of color experiencing the dual traumas of brutality and the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will not accept the status quo – to do so goes against the very heart of our work.
We believe in the power of holistic improvement thinking, in the need for self-reflection and assessment. It’s only through truly embracing the core tenets of improvement that we as a society can rise – that we can ultimately invoke and sustain meaningful change.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us to quickly change our typical processes and day-to-day operations, but we also have opportunities to pioneer new operational approaches. As we start to settle into a “new normal,” it is increasingly important to remember the voice of the “customer” – be it patient, staff, providers, partners, or the community at large – when deciding what changes to adopt, and identifying where continued improvement is needed.
A recent Harvard Business Review article by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Leading Your Team Past the Peak of a Crisis, discusses “Kanter’s Law” – how projects can look like failure when you’re in the middle of the effort – in the context of organizational and global crises.
Chris HuntThursday Thoughts – Navigating and Persevering through the Messy Middle
Without question, each of us is experiencing some level of disruption to our professional and personal lives as a result of COVID-19. The demands on safety net health care staff have only been magnified with the required rapid response to patient needs, new workflows, personnel changes, and updated policies coming from their organizations and from government officials alike. This non-stop reactivity to the volume and frequency of change pushes us to operate in “survival mode,” and unfortunately puts us at high risk of burning out.
Teresa HoferThursday Thoughts – Taking Time to Reflect… to Stop and Smell the Roses
The magnitude and speed of changes over the past month have been crucial and daunting. As the focus shifts to what’s next, our vision may be on a grand scope – getting everything back to “normal” – but our efforts need to be tempered with considerations about the overall scale of the next steps. What can be accomplished? By when? With what resources?
For this week’s Thursday Thoughts, we’re considering Scope and Scale – how to scale our efforts; leverage small steps; and remember that with any change, those impacted may need more time to adjust.
Bridget Hogan ColeThursday Thoughts – Scope and Scale!
Those involved in quality and practice transformation efforts have likely experienced times when they’ve needed to put an improvement project “on pause” as higher-priority issues surface. It can be challenging to both put a project on hold and restart a project after a hiatus – even if the project is only in “hibernation” for a couple of months. Many of you are currently experiencing this as you pause some QI and practice transformation efforts to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For those who are considering putting a planned or active improvement project on pause, there are a few resources you may find useful.
Chris HuntThursday Thoughts – Hitting ‘Pause’ and Putting a QI Project into Hibernation
In this period of uncertainty, we are all asked to stretch our capacities to react to the most urgent needs of the hour, which can quickly become overwhelming as other tasks fall to the wayside. While the sea of to-dos can be daunting, project management approaches can help keep us grounded and focused, breaking things down until they feel more manageable.
As we strive to keep a proactive mindset, consider adapting and applying these tools when faced with a new directive, task, or situation:
Teresa HoferThursday Thoughts – Completing Our Tasks, One Step at a Time
The Value in Collaborating Across Departments to Transform Care
In these current times, I’m reminded about the importance of bridging silos and engaging in collaborative problem-solving. It’s going to take us working across aisles, departments, organizations, and industries to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. The recently concluded “Making the Value Connection” (MVC) Pilot Program is a promising example of how beneficial multidisciplinary collaboration can be.
Chris HuntThursday Thoughts – The Value in Collaborating Across Departments to Transform Care
Welcome to the first edition of our new Thursday Thoughts series!
IHQC’s new Thursday Thoughts is a brand-new weekly newsletter, reflecting on our QI programs and content, sharing resources that might be of help during these unprecedented times, and perhaps sending along a smile and a quote or two.
If you’d like to share a story of your improvement work, a resource that you find helpful, or just a quick note – please reach out to us at info@IHQC.org.
Bridget Hogan ColeIntroducing: IHQC’s Thursday Thoughts Series (3/19/2020)