Building Improvement Capability


See how your peers surpassed challenges using improvement methods. Choose from 175+ sessions to attend, organized through 10 topics that are vital to the improvement of care.

​The Building Improvement Capability topic track is dedicated to embedding a culture of continuous improvement throughout a system.​​​


Pick Your Sessions Today!

Sessions at the IHI National Forum can fill to capacity. Register and select your sessions today to avoid disappointment.

Conference Sessions
Dece​m​ber 10–11​

Filling Your Quality Improvement Toolbox: Starter Edition
A26, B26
Understanding and using a few key quality improvement tools will increase the effectiveness of your improvement efforts. Join three pioneers in quality improvement in health care to build your skills in seven basic tools of quality flowcharts, run charts, driver diagrams, Pareto charts, histograms, cause-and-effect diagrams, and scatter diagrams tools that you can apply as soon as you return home.
Taking Successful Improvements to Scale
A27, B27​
Whether you are looking to implement a new or already existing improvement, this session will advance your capability to take improvements to full scale across your organization or system. Learn how to use a sequence of activities, including strategies to enhance adoption of the improvements and the infrastructure needed to support them, as a guide to achieving your scale-up goals.
The Foundations of Quality Improvement in Health Care
All improvement requires change, but not all change is improvement. What is a change? What are the fundamental principles of improvement? How can we use these principles to have a lasting impact on the health of those we care for? In this two-part session, learn from two pioneers in the quality improvement movement about the history and practice of the science of improvement in health and health care and how to use the Model for Improvement to improve the care you provide every day. You'll leave inspired and filled with practical knowledge that you can use immediately in all of your improvement work.
Sustaining Improvement in Daily Work
This session describes management practices adopted by top-performing health care organizations designed to sustain and improve highly reliable, safe, and efficient care. Our study of 10 leading acute care organizations yielded a Management System Architecture focused on specific integrated responsibilities for managers at all levels. Key drivers of high-performance management include daily standard work; formal accountability; frequent, data-grounded communication; problem-solving methodology; protocols for escalating problems, and positive trust relationships among managers and staff.
Measurement for Improvement 101
Participants of this session can expect to deepen their understanding of measurement for improvement, the types of measures, how to collect data, and how to analyze data over time.In all improvement efforts, it’s necessary to measure whether the changes being tested are leading to improvement. Identifying and developing a family of measures is useful in understanding the system from multiple perspectives. In addition, measurement takes place at different levels, from the outcome level down to the level of individual Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles. A Measurement Tree is a tool that can help highlight the logical links between measures in our system, and collecting and looking at data over time in the form of a run chart is useful to inform teams whether changes are leading to improvement.
Running Successful Collaboratives Around the Globe
D29, E29​
The need for rapid and sustainable change in health care is urgent. IHI's Breakthrough Series (BTS) Collaboratives provide a powerful tool for spreading improvements when established design principles are used and common pitfalls are avoided. This interactive session covers topic selection, change packages and measurement systems, engaging teams, and running robust learning sessions and action periods. We will use examples of Collaboratives from around the world on a variety of topics. This session shares didactic information about the BTS methodology along with interactive exercises.
Using the Dosing Approach to Build Capability
D30, E30​
Patients on the same medication do not all receive the same dose. Why, then, should we expect that the same dose of the science of improvement will be appropriate for all individuals within an organization? This session's presenters will explain IHI's dosing approach and how it can be used to build capacity and capability for improvement. Dosing strategies will be offered, and case studies will be used to demonstrate how the dosing approach can be applied successfully in organizations of different types and sizes.
The Psychology of Change: People-Driven Methods to Unlock Resistance & Unleash QI
D31, E31​
The rate at which improvement spreads relies at least in part on the people who are implementing the change in practice. IHI's Psychology of Change Framework helps leaders at all levels focus on the people advancing improvement efforts: the way that we think and feel, what motivates us, and how we behave when we encounter change. This session features U.S. and global examples and engages participants in developing pragmatic ideas to apply to their improvement context in response to people's resistance and other adaptive challenges.

​​Pre-Conference Workshops & Excursions
Dece​m​ber 8–9​

Sunday Half-Day Workshop
Back to Basics: Building Essential Quality Improvement Skills
Built around the Model for Improvement, this session will demonstrate how to put into practice the model's three key questions about setting aims, establishing measures, and selecting changes to drive successful improvement work. This course will provide a refresher for those who are stalled in their improvement efforts and a jump-start for those who are new to the quality improvement journey.

Monday Full-Day Workshop
Improvement Coaching in Action
This highly interactive session is designed to further develop your improvement coaching skills by putting them to work in a safe learning environment. Role plays, scenarios, and exercises will help you gain insights and learn techniques to help your improvement teams build confidence, enhance capability, and drive success.​
Monday Full-Day Workshop
Better Quality Through Better Measurement
Many people encounter roadblocks along the quality measurement journey. Major milestones include selecting measures, developing operational definitions, building data collection plans, and understanding variation. This session provides guidance on navigating those roadblocks and building a measurement system that works, with an emphasis on understanding variation conceptually and statistically with run and control charts. Through case studies and exercises, we will explore the application of measurement principles to health care and ultimately link measurement to improvement.
Marriott World Center: Managing Large-Scale Operations
In this Excursion, participants will learn how the Marriott World Center expertly handles the flow of large volumes of visitors yet offers superb customer service in the front office, efficiently and safely feeds an average of 1 million plates per year, runs a golf club, tends to every detail of event and convention services, manages the logistics and tracking of Lost & Found, and manages daily housekeeping operations. Employee retention and recognition will also be discussed.