Getting Started

​Knowing how to get started on improvement is often the biggest hurdle to overcome for anyone who wants to effect positive change. This collection of resources is designed to introduce anyone, at any level, to the fundamentals of IHI’s approach to improvement. Building improvement capability at the individual, team, or even organization level can all start here — with an understanding of simple, but powerful methods and tools.

Suggested Resources for Getting Started

How to Improve: The Model for Improvement and PDSA Cycles
The How to Improve section introduces the Model for Improvement — a simple, but powerful tool that lies at the heart of IHI’s approach to improvement. Included with the basic introduction of the model are specific sections on forming the right improvement team, setting aims, establishing measures, selecting and testing changes, and more. Also available are a Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) worksheet, a project planning form, and links to free videos explaining the science of improvement.

Science of Improvement "Whiteboard" Videos: PDSAs
Robert Lloyd, PhD, IHI’s Executive Director of Performance Improvement, has created a series of “whiteboard” videos to dissect the science of improvement. In this short video, he explains the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle – a simple tool that gives improvers a way to quickly test changes on a small scale, observe what happens, tweak the changes as necessary, and then test again.

Online Course QI 102: How to Improve with the Model for Improvement
This IHI Open School online course is freely available to all. The course will teach you how to use the Model for Improvement to improve everything from your tennis game to your hospital’s infection rate. You’ll learn the basic steps in any improvement project: setting an aim, forming a team, selecting measures, developing ideas for changes, testing changes using Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles, and measuring to determine if the changes you are testing are leading to improvement.

Quality Improvement Essentials Toolkit
IHI’s QI Essentials Toolkit features ten tools you need to launch and manage a successful improvement project, including instructions, an example, and a blank template for each tool.


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