Best practices for facilitating a QI project

whitneyw's picture
Wed, 07/20/2016 - 20:20 -- whitneyw

We have employees who are skilled in facilitation, but new to facilitating QI projects.  Are there best practices that employees can use to become more comfortable in this role?  Thanks!

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Submitted by Georgianna on

Hello Whitney,

In my experience your facilitators will be most comfortable and effective if they have a strong understanding of QI tools and processes.  E.g. helping the group to identify the root cause(s) before jumping to solutions, or knowing when to use a prioritization matrix vs. a flow chart.  I've been having members of our QI Team do practice sessions in our regular meetings, and they feel that's very helpful in preparing them to lead a project team.  We also have a PDCA worksheet that the project teams fill out before or during the first working session that lays a foundation for the QI process.  Happy to share more if it's useful.

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Georgianna Wood
Accreditation Coordinator
Humboldt County DHHS Public Health

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Submitted by whitneyw on

Thanks, Georgianna!  I'd love it if you could share some examples of the practice sessions that you conduct with your QI Team and the PDCA worksheet that the project teams fill out.

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Grace Gorenflo's picture
Submitted by Grace Gorenflo on

Hi Whitney,

Have the facilitators been trained in QI?  I think the most helpful approach is to provide a "train the trainer" opportunity in order for facilitators to understand the basics of QI as well as the most common tools and their application.  In-person trainings have huge advantages, and if that's not an option I strongly encourage that you check out the Ohio State College of Public Health free online learning modules on QI fundamentals and tool time - they can be accessed here:  https://cph.osu.edu/practice/free-online-learning.

Good luck!

Grace

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Submitted by whitneyw on

Most of our facilitators are part of our QI training cohort, so they have regular in-person training opportunities to learn and apply QI tools and methods in their daily work and in QI projects.  However, our facilitators seem to still be struggling with helping their teams overcome common problems while conducting their projects, such as not following the PDSA process, skipping over RCA, jumping to solutions without testing, etc.  I'm looking for tips and tools to help our facilitators develop their skills and confidence in troubleshooting these common problems.

Thank you for sharing the Ohio modules.  I liked the do's and don'ts of being a QI project facilitator.

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Submitted by gkroberts on

Hi Whitney,

I agree with Giorgianna and Grace above. Learning to facilitate a QI project successfully takes time. The more facilitators can practice and get familiar with QI tools/concepts (either starting with smaller projects or role playing), the more comfortable they will be when they encounter a real situation. Do you have meetings with your facilitators, such as a Quality Council? Maybe you could use meeting time to teach them pros and cons of using different tools during differest steps of the PDSA.

I'm also trying to multiply facilitators and it has helped to have a standard PDSA worksheet (attached) that helps all QI projects walk through the same steps and stay on track. Once this is complete, you have all of the information you need for a storyboard. I don't have it with me at the moment but can share that template if you email me.

Another thing that has helped is to set an agenda for project meetings with objectives and conclude with action items. This may take more meetings than listed below but for example:

  1. Meeting 1: overview QI basics, process map and root cause analysis (choose QI tools as approriate for these two activities)
  2. Meeting 2: review root causes and improvements identified from meeting 1, finalize details about improvements (AIM statement, process map, baseline data, root cause, and If/Then statement), finish PLAN phase so improvement can be tested (DO phase).
  3. Meeting 3: After the improvement is tested (DO phase), this is a meeting for the STUDY phase to discuss baseline and post-data, along with observations, and unexpected outcomes. You should obtain enough information to inform the ACT phase to either adopt, adapt, or abandon the improvement.

Last but not least, are the facilitators external to the project team? It has helped us to mix up facilitators so they are content-neutral, can provide a non-biased opinion, and can help diffuse a tough converstation to refocus on the PDSA process. I hope this helps at least a little bit. I am happy to discuss further so feel free to email me! Good luck!

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Gurleen Roberts, MPH
Director of Quality Management
Cobb & Douglas Public Health
Marietta, GA
gurleen.roberts@dph.ga.gov

Submitted by Channa Lindsay on

Here is a PowerPoint highlighting some of the tools and processes we use during QI project planning.


Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would like more detail!

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Channa Lindsay

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Submitted by whitneyw on

Hello,

I just wanted to circle back around and thank everyone again for sharing this information.  I'll be taking all of your suggestions and putting them into practice here over the next year.

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jmenchhofer's picture
Submitted by jmenchhofer on

Gurleen,

I really like the PDSA worksheet you shared above.  Would you also be willing to share the resources referenced by the multiple links within the worksheet?  They don't open online for me.  I suspect that's because the links lead to files on an internal server used only by your health department?

We are very new to the QI process here, and I think we could benefit from using this framework to help keep our efforts focused!

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Jason Menchhofer, R.S.
Sanitarian/Accreditation Coordinator
Mercer County Health District
Celina, OH
jmenchhofer@mchdohio.org
mchdohio.org

Submitted by gkroberts on

Hi @jmenchhofer,

I have attached a PDSA worksheet with the storyboard attached to the 4th page for easier development. I have also attached 2 of the linked resources that were on our intranet site. The other links are for external resources/websites, and even some of these I could not find so I apologize for that. I will work on updating these. Thanks for the heads up and feel free to ask if you have any questions.

I often present this worksheet with our QI 101 training, available here, so you can see some examples of it being used. Good luck!

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Gurleen Roberts, MPH
Director of Quality Management
Cobb & Douglas Public Health
Marietta, GA
gurleen.roberts@dph.ga.gov