WIHI: Accelerating Improvement: The Enduring Value of Collaboratives

Date: November 12, 2015


  • Bruce Spurlock, MD, President and CEO, Cynosure Health Solutions
  • Andrea Kabcenell, RN, MPH, Vice President, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
  • Kedar Mate, MD, Senior Vice President, IHI
  • Jane Brock, MD, MSPH, Medical Director, Telligen; Clinical Director, Quality Innovation Network - Quality Improvement Organizations National Coordinating Center
One of the hallmarks of the health care improvement movement has been the way in which diverse organizations and teams come together to gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to implement change. The most celebrated of these models over the past few decades has been the “collaborative” – as simple a concept as it is radical. Simple because it’s essentially a gathering of health care practitioners and leaders willing to move beyond their own walls in order to learn with and from others facing similar patient care challenges, in pursuit of the shared goal of accelerating improvement. Radical because to take this step requires a commitment to set an ambitious, shared aim; learn together and take action locally; measure progress toward the stated goal; and share learning, in the strong belief that everyone, everywhere deserves the highest quality care…not just the people who receive treatment at your hospital or your clinic.
So, how has health care improved over the years, thanks to the steady work of collaboratives and the shared vision of better care for all that drives participants to this day? As the language and the ideas evolve with the times (are “learning networks” the next generation?) and the fundamentals of collaborative work take hold among patient and family improvers, students, and community coalitions focused on creating better health as well as best care, what’s next for collaboratives? How would you revise and refine this mode of working together to accelerate change?


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