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IHI Breakthrough Series College: London

The health and well-being of the IHI community is our top priority. Please read IHI's COVID-19 vaccination and masking policy before registering for any IHI course or conference with an in-person component.


What Is a C​ollaborative?

A Breakthrough Series Collaborative is a focused (6- to 18-month) improvement project that brings together teams from hospitals, clinics, schools, or agencies seeking improvement in a focused topic area towards a common aim. Since inventing the BTS Collaborative methodology, IHI has led Collaboratives around the world on a wide range of topics with thousands of participating teams. Optimal collaboratives range in size from 10 to 100 organisational teams. 

What Is the Breakthrough Series College?

The Breakthrough Series (BTS) College, created by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), is a powerful programme designed to help you adapt proven methods to spread outstanding improvements across your organisation using the Collaborative methodology. In fact, you can gain the insights and strategies you need to prepare for Collaborative start-up — within six months. The Breakthrough Series College is held across six sessions starting on March 21, 2023, including a two-day in-person workshop in London.

After the College, you will be able to:

  • Operate a successful Collaborative improvement project
  • Increase your ability to teach and use the Model for Improvement, an improvement strategy used in the Breakthrough Series (BTS)​

Over the two decades that this programme has been offered, it has helped organisations in health care, social services, education, public health, and beyond make profound and lasting changes that have been spread throughout organisations, systems, cities and between countries.

This programme has helped organisations run collaboratives on topics including (but not limited to):​

  • Improving organ donation consent rates
  • Reducing complications from ventilators and central lines
  • Improving the patient experience
  • Improving access in primary care
  • Reducing unplanned readmissions
  • Improving access to domestic violence services​
  • Improving childhood literacy
  • Improving chronic care (asthma, congestive heart failure, diabetes, hypertension)
  • Improving care for children in foster care
Read a blog post from past BTS College faculty member, Maire Schall, about the BTS methodology and applications outside of health care.

Topics of Focus

This programme will cover topics critical to running a successful Collaborative, including: 
  • Collaborative overview and set-up
  • Topic selection
  • Model for Improvement: Overview and methods for teaching
  • Developing the technical content 
  • Preparing for the Collaborative 
  • Learning Sessions and Action Periods
  • Evaluation and dissemination

Attendee Take-Aways

Of note, participants in past BTS College programmes have stressed the need for organisations to send two or more people to the College, to optimize learning about the Collaborative structure and roles. Participants will select either a Director or Improvement Advisor track when not attending general plenary sessions. Over the course of the Breakthrough Series College, participants will:

  • ​Become prepared for either a Director or Improvement Advisor role at your organisation within a BTS Collaborative
  • Learn how to become a change leader within your organisation 
  • Connect with peers who are also preparing to run BTS Collaboratives 
  • Have a 1:1 coaching opportunity with faculty