Leadership Alliance Breaking the Rules for Better Care

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Leadership Alliance Breaking the Rules for Better Care

“You broke the rules for us, and it made all the difference.”

This statement, made by a family member recalling how a nurse “broke” a hospital rule regarding visitation so that a new mom and her baby were able to visit one another inspired an idea. It got members of the IHI Leadership Alliance thinking: How many rules do we currently have in place that were likely created with the best of intentions but don’t benefit patients, families, or staff?

In February 2023, the IHI Leadership Alliance, IHI Health Improvement Alliance Europe, and global members led the third iteration of the "Breaking the Rules for Better Care" initiative, in which leaders were encouraged to ask their patients and staff a simple question: 

“If you could break or change one rule in service of a better care experience for patients or staff, what would it be and why?”

More than 100 organizations participated in the Breaking the Rules for Better Care coalition, and in one week over 600 rules were identified. Executive leaders collaborated to solicit and then take action on the myths, habits, and outdated "rules" that get in the way of the care experience.

We have learned from previous Breaking the Rules offerings, that the question is simple, but it takes courage to ask, planning to prioritize, and a commitment to follow up.

Breaking the Rules for Better Care Resource Guide

Host your own Breaking the Rules for Better Care Week. Use this step-by-step guide to get started with planning and hosting a Breaking the Rules initiative in your own organization.

Download the Breaking the Rules Resource Guide

"Rule Breakers": Share Your Ideas

The IHI team is thrilled that you are taking part in Breaking the Rules for Better Care. We are eager to celebrate your efforts and to learn from your experiences and findings. Please complete a short survey to share any ideas, insights, and data from your local Breaking the Rules activities.

Short Survey: Share Your Breaking the Rules Activities

Additional Resources