Using Quality Improvement Methods to Combat Poverty: Northeast Wisconsin's POINT Initiative

Hostetter M, Klein S. Using Quality Improvement Methods to Combat Poverty: Northeast Wisconsin POINT Initiative. Boston, MA: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2018.

POINTCase_cover_thumb.JPGThis case study provides an overview of the Poverty Outcomes and Improvement Network Team (POINT) initiative, a multiyear regional effort to reduce poverty in Northeast Wisconsin by teaching nonprofit organizations how to use quality improvement methods and tools to improve the services they provide to those in the community living in poverty.

Their ultimate goal: to raise more people out of poverty and help them find good jobs, stable housing, and other resources needed to become self-sufficient.

The initiative, which drew upon the IHI Breakthrough Series Collaborative model and support from IHI to introduce nonprofits to basic QI methods, included nearly 100 organizations from seven counties across the region, and from across sectors.

Key Takeaways

  • The POINT initiative’s first results-oriented project demonstrated that quality improvement methods are relevant to the work of nonprofits outside of the health care sector.
  • Nonprofits used quality improvement methods to understand and improve their processes, enabling them to help more people find good-paying jobs, housing, and other resources.
  • The initiative benefitted from continuous improvement coaches, on loan from local manufacturers.
  • The close involvement of funders could lead to more strategic philanthropy and collaboration in the region.​

Videos about the POINT Initiative

In these two videos, IHI's Ninon Lewis answers the questions:

  • Why Did IHI Start Working to Reduce Poverty in Northeast Wisconsin?
  • What Can Health Care Learn from the POINT Initiative?


These two videos describe:

  • Breaking Down Large Improvement Goals
  • Using QI to Improve Counseling and Therapist Services
Average Content Rating
(0 user)
Please login to rate or comment on this content.
User Comments