Date: April 19, 2012
- Donald Goldmann, MD, Senior Vice President, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- Dale Webb, PhD, Director of Evaluation and Strategy, The Health Foundation, UK
- Mary Dixon-Woods, BA, DipStat, MSc, DPhil, Professor of Medical Sociology, University of Leicester, UK
- Gareth Parry, PhD, Senior Scientist, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
WIHI doesn’t need to travel all the way to Paris, France, to focus on challenges with the design and evaluation of improvement initiatives. But, four leading experts in this area are going to be sharing some of the latest thinking on this topic at the 17th annual International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare in Paris.
WIHI host Madge Kaplan talks with these four presenters after their panel to share their observations with the WIHI audience. Here’s just a sample of what Don Goldmann, Dale Webb, Mary Dixon-Woods, and Gareth Parry want to cover:
- Despite best intentions and commitment, improvement initiatives don’t always yield hoped-for results. Why does this happen?
- It seems so obvious, yet it turns out to be much harder to spread successes in one setting to another even if, on the surface at least, the settings seem pretty similar. What can help this adaptation?
- Everything seems to be running smoothly, but then problems with the design of the work are discovered late in the process. How can problems and design flaws be detected sooner?
- Everyone is very excited about the results of some improvement work, but when it comes times to write it all up, there’s confusion and disagreement about which mechanisms are actually responsible for the changes. How can this be avoided?
One underlying theme is the need to integrate what one hopes to learn from an improvement initiative right from the start, and to build into the process a robust learning and evaluation system for every step of the way. These aren’t just abstract notions; you’ll hear from the WIHI guests about recent situations they’ve been part of or witnessed where “learning the hard way” has given rise to much better and clearer-eyed processes for the future.
Here are some other things the guests promise to discuss:
- Developing a theory of change at the outset
- Matching expectations to the intervention
- Aspirational vs. evaluative goals
- The conspiracy of enthusiasm
- The importance of independent evaluation
The theme of this year’s International Forum is “Solutions for Tough Times,” and improvers in the US and globally face many challenges. Getting the nuts and bolts and the design right for improvement work couldn’t be more important and relevant.