Challenges of Improvement

in Health Care, Videos

By David M. Williams, PhD

Harvardx course Practical Improvement Science in Health Care with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Don’t be fooled into thinking improvement is easy. It’s slow. It’s thoughtful and often complicated work. I don’t tell you that to dissuade you, but rather to reinforce the point that creating and sustaining meaningful change is hard work. Those are the lessons we’ll cover in the next three lessons. We’ll introduce some more practical tools, of course, but we’re only going to dig deeper into the testing and learning you need to do when working in improvement.

Moving from theory to application is so difficult that it tempts one to reach for what Dr. Deming called “instant pudding.” People long for the quick and memorable formula that makes rolling up your sleeves and having to think hard unnecessary and removes uncertainty. Rarely is there a simple or single solution. Finding the alternative to instant pudding is a daunting task. The journey to system improvement is not simple. It’s more like a roadtrip without highways than a direct flight from Boston to Birmingham.

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