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Expectations of the Participating Sites

To succeed in the Better Health and Lower Costs for Patients with Complex Needs Collaborative, participating sites will need to exhibit certain characteristics: 
  • Senior Leadership Support: Because of the strategic and challenging nature of improving care, cost, and health for complex populations, participating teams must have the explicit support of their senior leadership, and these leaders must stay actively connected to the team’s work. To maximize results, the Collaborative should be a recognized priority supported by each organization’s senior leadership and governing board. The IHI team will convene the senior leaders periodically through a series of calls and will dedicate time during Learning Sessions to discuss leadership and governance.
  • Dedicated Project Resources: The organization’s identified senior leader should appoint a high-level project leader to head the Collaborative team. This project leader will oversee the day-to-day activities of the team and needs the time, resources, and accountability to succeed. Because of the challenges in securing population-level data, we strongly recommend also designating a data and measurement lead. Depending on the scope of the project, we estimate this project leader will need to dedicate 20% to 40% of their time. A multidisciplinary team focused on the activities of the Collaborative generally consists of 6-10 members who may represent a wide range of stakeholders, including clinicians, workers providing wrap-around care to patients, executive leaders, patients, community partners, and payers.
  • Improvement Skills and a Record of Successful Improvement: Succeeding in this work requires strong improvement capabilities. Successful participants will commit to learning quality improvement methods or already be skilled and agile in using the Model for Improvement or other improvement methods. These include iterative learning through running small tests of change, testing new designs at ever-increasing scale, and implementing change throughout the system or community. IHI has a wide array of programming that can help bolster the improvement capability of team members and community partners.
  • Dedicated Support for Measurement and Data Infrastructure: Few organizations or coalitions have all the data they need to understand and improve care for their patients with complex needs. In addition to using the data already available, most participants will need to develop new ways to collect and use data, including looking beyond their own data systems to external sources. The IHI team will convene the measurement leads from each team via periodic coaching calls to work through common measurement challenges.
  • Partnering and Inclusion: Participating organizations will need to reach beyond their usual boundaries to develop multi-stakeholder partnerships. Partnering relationships often include health care organizations and groups such as social service agencies, local governments, public health departments, educational institutions, employers, and other community groups. These partnerships may also include civic, religious, and other non-profit or voluntary organizations focused on improving the health of the community. IHI encourages participating sites to include patient, family, and community representatives as active team members.