|How to Sustain Healthcare Improvement Efforts: 4 Keys to Success|
|—Adapted from “4 Steps to Sustaining Improvement in Health Care” by Kedar S. Mate, MD, and Jeffery Rakover, Harvard Business Review, Nov. 9, 2016.|
There are few things more frustrating than pouring
time and effort into a process improvement just to see those new workflows
forgotten and an organization regress to its bad habits. Highlighted below are
four tips to help overcome that obstacle.
1. Test new
work processes in a pilot unit. Rolling out a new work model tends to be
easier when the model has already been tested on a small scale. Having a pilot
unit allows management to standardize good habits and ensure the new model is aligned
with the organizational goals.
improvements on the front line. Engaging frontline clinical staffers who
deal with the day-to-day operations of an organization is critical to the
success and sustainability of a process improvement. Without the frontline
staff, systems frequently revert to their old ways.
small successes to build morale. Change is difficult and asking for too
much too quickly can be demoralizing for any staff. During the early stages of
major process change, be prepared to recognize small, short-term achievements
that could boost buy-in and momentum.
staff grievances with improvement efforts. Positive performance reviews and
promotions are not the only ways to motivate employees; frontline managers are
also more likely to stick with an improvement effort if it eliminates a daily
hassle in their own work processes.