Run Chart Tool

Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Improvement takes place over time. Determining if improvement has really happened and if it is lasting requires observing patterns over time. Run charts are graphs of data over time and are one of the most important tools for assessing the effectiveness of change.

Run charts have a variety of benefits:

  • They help improvement teams formulate aims by depicting how well (or poorly) a process is performing.
  • They help in determining when changes are truly improvements by displaying a pattern of data that you can observe as you make changes.
  • They give direction as you work on improvement and information about the value of particular changes.



Developed by IHI faculty Richard Scoville, PhD, and used in numerous IHI workshops and Collaboratives, this Microsoft Excel template provides a simple tool to create run charts.

Download the tool for complete instructions. The Excel file consists of two worksheets: the first allows you to enter data and creates a run chart as you enter data; the second provide instructions on how to use a run chart to test for effective changes.
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