Kaiser Permanente Shares 6-Part Continuous Improvement Process

Written by Jaimie Oh | December 07, 2011 | Print  |

In an article published in the December 2011 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente shares the continuous improvement process used to attain its high quality outcomes.

Kaiser Permanente implemented a strategy for creating a systematic capacity for whole system and continuous improvement. The strategy was comprised of six "building blocks":

•    Real-time sharing of meaningful performance data
•    Formal training in problem-solving methodology
•    Workforce engagement and informal knowledge sharing
•    Leadership structures, beliefs and behaviors
•    Internal and external benchmarking
•    Technical knowledge sharing


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Kaiser Permanente noted unit-based teams were key to implementing this strategy. In addition, leaders noted that the dynamic interplay among upper management, middle management and frontline staff facilitates learning throughout Kaiser Permanente.

"Creating structures and systems for learning from tests of change at all levels are foundational to creating a high-performing healthcare organization and that's what we've put in place at Kaiser Permanente," said Lisa Schilling, RN, vice president of national performance improvement for Kaiser Permanente. "We've created structures and developed capabilities that facilitate learning from improvement efforts and speed sharing of effective practices."

Related Articles on Performance Improvement:

Measure Applications Partnership Releases Quality Measures Under Consideration by CMS
Joint Commission's Proposed Patient Safety Goal Targets Overuse of Treatments, Procedures
Developing an Effective ASC Quality Outcomes Monitoring Program: Q&A With Jean Day of Pinnacle III

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