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Redesigning Health Systems for Quality: Lessons from Emerging Practices

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Abstract:

Background: It has been five years since the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Crossing the Quality Chasm, proposed systemwide changes to transform our health care system. What progress has been made? What lessons have been learned? How should we move forward?

Methods: Semistructured telephone interviews were conducted with 16 health care providers and researchers at organizations involved in system redesign. The findings were supplemented with a focused literature review and discussions from a national expert meeting.

Results: Many promising and innovative examples of redesign were identified. However, even delivery systems that are redesigning care in pursuit of the six IOM aims face daunting challenges, reflecting the need to align system changes across multiple levels and to integrate redesign efforts with ongoing system features. Four success factors were reported by providers as crucial in overcoming redesign barriers: (1) directly involving top and middle-level leaders, (2) strategically aligning and integrating improvement efforts with organizational priorities, (3) systematically establishing infrastructure, process, and performance appraisal systems for continuous improvement, and (4) actively developing champions, teams, and staff. A framework that integrates these success factors to facilitate a systems approach to redesigning health care organizations and delivery systems for improved performance is provided.

Conclusions: Successful system redesign requires coordinating and managing a complex set of changes across multiple levels rather than isolated projects.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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