South Florida Hospital News
Monday August 19, 2019

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December 2007 - Volume 4 - Issue 6




Leading Improvement Initiatives

According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, "Leadership for whole system improvement requires specific leadership tasks and the knowledge of how to do them if leaders are to drive measured improvement across all conditions, all departments and all offices in a health care system."

Leading improvement in healthcare organizations requires clear direction, specific goals and careful selection of teams to develop and implement the actions required to achieve the goals. Leaders must measure and constantly monitor outcomes to determine if progress is being made. This usually requires that a "performance scorecard" be developed to help everyone involved in the improvement initiative to see the impact of their collective efforts. Leaders must also allocate sufficient financial and physical resources to implement the improvement plans while actively helping improvement teams overcome natural resistance to change.

These leadership responsibilities may seem to be straightforward and relatively easy to fulfill. However, the difficulty rests in details such as providing meaningful CQI education for staff, addressing critical concerns with proposed action plans, ensuring meaningful engagement in the improvement process by key stakeholders, and ensuring that the investment of time and money to improve results is yielding a significant return in reduced cost, improved patient satisfaction or reduced turnover.

We sometimes assume that those we ask to lead improvement initiatives have the skills they need to be successful and then become discouraged when improvement teams move too slowly or our investment in the improvement initiative does not yield significant returns. Providing refresher training in basic CQI tools coupled with periodic coaching from a business improvement expert are inexpensive ways to ensure that you will get the results you are looking for.

The Doug Williams Group, is a results-oriented professional services firm that specializes in all aspects of performance improvement. Serving all industries, the firm helps its clients improve customer satisfaction, improve employee satisfaction, and increase profitability. Brian Wilson, Vice President of the Healthcare division, can be reached by phone at (305) 598-9880 or via e-mail at To view services and success stories visit the firmís web site at
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