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Institute for Healthcare Improvement IHI

Health Care

IHI: It’s Time to Lose the Waste

Join the initiative “Impacting Cost and Quality”

Published: Thursday, August 26, 2010 - 15:03

(IHI: Cambridge, MA) -- It is the most significant health-care leadership challenge of our time: how to reduce expenses while improving quality. At first, the trade-off seems unavoidable. As expenses decrease, so too must quality, right? Not necessarily. Pioneering organizations that have worked with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) during the past few years to identify and drive out waste in their systems are doing so in ways that improve the quality of care delivered to patients.

The IHI is inviting organizations to be part of this exciting and promising work through a new leadership initiative called “Impacting Cost and Quality.”  Because only by working on cost and quality at the same time can a patient-positive relationship between the two be achieved.

The participants

This program is geared toward hospitals with a strong track record of improvement and demonstrated quality outcomes—and their leaders who are responsible for improving the bottom line and improving quality in departments, divisions, or the hospital as a whole. With specific programming tailored to CEOs, chief financial officers, chief operating officers, and clinical leaders, participants will identify opportunities to drive out waste, prioritize what changes are best suited for their organization, and successfully lead front-line improvement efforts that improve an organization’s financial standing.

Ultimately, success in this work will depend on the organization’s ability to translate leadership direction into solid front-line execution. This will require participants to possess exceptional capacity for improvement, project management skills, and highly disciplined methods for design and redesign of the structures, processes, and services needed to implement, sustain, and spread good ideas.

The goal

The focus of this program will be on finding the waste and removing it—diagnosis and execution. Participation will help hospital leadership teams achieve measurable results within the year by arming participants with:

• The skills and tools to remove 1–3 percent of operating expenses while maintaining or improving clinical performance
• A sound strategy for making needed improvements in cost and quality that take into account the payment environment for a one-year, two-year, and five-year time horizon
• Tools for developing financial viability, even at Medicare prices

The curriculum

The content will be divided into four “work streams”:

• Leadership—setting the course, establishing the metrics and the priorities
• Clinical improvements—focusing on patient populations and health care-associated infections
• Finance—building effective models and removing “real dollars” from the expenses
• “Less of”—seeking to drive out waste using lean tools

These work streams will be set in motion through a variety of engaging activities throughout the year, including three face-to-face meetings (the first taking place Oct. 25–26), more than 20 interactive webinars, and ongoing support from expert faculty. As a participant in this intensive year-long program, participants can take full advantage of the following support:

• Use of IHI’s Waste Identification Tool to identify waste opportunities and evaluate projects and priorities
• Guidance on selecting your portfolio of work
• Financial models to measure progress over time
• Ensuring “dark green” dollars fall to the bottom line
• Adapt lessons learned from other participants
• “Stuck coaching” from IHI’s expert faculty
• Identify partners and potential savings beyond your walls


About The Author

Institute for Healthcare Improvement IHI’s picture

Institute for Healthcare Improvement IHI

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is an independent nonprofit organization that works with health care providers and leaders throughout the world to achieve safe and effective health care. IHI focuses on motivating the will for change, identifying and testing new models of care in partnership with patients and health care professionals, and ensuring the broadest possible adoption of best practices and effective innovations. IHI mobilizes teams and organizations through its staff and partnerships with faculty members worldwide who share the philosophy “all teach, all learn.” Founded in 1991, IHI is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


An Alternative to Tools training for Hospitals

As an alternative some health care follks may be interested in the Vanguard Method that is being used with great success. There are no tools to train and the improvement is sustainable. The culture change accomplished is an added benefit. To find out more go to www.newsystemsthinking.com and download free "Understanding Your Organization as a System." Your people will thank you for it.