Rate of spread measures assess the extent to which a particular process change is being spread from the local level to the targeted sites. In a spread project, the rate at which successful changes are spread across the system can positively impact the improvement being spread.
Rate of spread measure(s) will differ for each spread effort, depending on the specific improvements made at the local level that are being spread across the system.
Examples of rate of spread measures for projects targeted at spreading different local improvements include the following:
- A spread project targeted at reducing adverse drug events could measure the rate of spread of unit briefings that are used to identify unsafe conditions and opportunities for reducing harm associated with medications.
- An example of a key process change to support improvement in the care for patients with diabetes at the local level is the use of a flagging system to identify patients needing an HbA1c or LDL at their visit. In this example, the spread project could measure number of targeted sites utilizing a process for flagging charts of patients needing an HbA1c or LDL prior to the patient visit.
- Spreading same-day access to all primary care clinics in a medical group will require that all targeted sites eliminate the backlog of appointments scheduled into the future. A rate of spread measure for an access project in primary care could be the percentage of targeted sites actively engaged in working down the backlog.