Do You Genuinely Understand the Problem You Are Trying to Solve? The Model for Improvement
Mark G. Parker MD, Vice President, Quality and Safety, Maine Medical Center
- Recognize early barriers that can prevent interprofessional teams from making sustainable improvement
- Gain insight into an established framework to organize and systematically align interprofessional groups in shared improvement goals
Traditional research is about discovery. Quality improvement is about… improvement. We need to study the evidence for best practices and apply them consistently in our own healthcare delivery sphere in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for our patients. How do we get there? Too often, we see opportunities for improvement and we struggle to organize the work in a systematic, goal driven way. We bog down in a series of efforts that center on fixing imperfect processes without clear, measurable outcome targets. We sense we have a problem, but we don’t know our true baseline data and we don’t develop a measurement plan or a methodology to guide us to our goal.
Improvement science provides us with a way out of this rabbit hole. One simple and effective model to understand the problem we are trying to solve is promoted by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and was developed by Associates in Process Improvement. Appropriately, it is called the Model For Improvement (MFI).1