Organizations that make change happen are those that value innovation and provide the time and other resources needed to test and learn from changes. An important assumption of rapid quality improvement is that "frontline" providers and others are familiar with the "nuts and bolts" of a particular care system - and that they already know a good deal about what might work better. Often, by encouraging frontline staff to solve long-recognized problems, teams find solutions.
With an aim in place, teams can begin to recruit others to help accomplish their goals. Obviously, teams need to have the right clinical and administrative people involved to make change happen. But this team will require support. Senior leaders and upper management will have to charter the team and approve of its aim, while many others need to endorse the improvement team's effort, creating organization-wide support for the endeavor.
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This online version of the book Improving Care for the End of Life: A Sourcebook for Health Care Managers and Clinicians is provided with permission of Americans for Better Care of the Dying [ www.abcd-caring.org ] and Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
For further information on quality improvement in end-of-life care visit The Palliative Care Policy Center [ www.medicaring.org ].