Transition from Individual Change Efforts to a System-wide Improvement Movement

When the Infinitum Team goes into a healthcare organization the first thing we ask is, "Where's your pain?" Everyone knows where they hurt, and when the hurt goes on for any length of time it begins to wear down a person's enthusiasm, work relationships, and the mission of the organization. Many individuals seek to make changes within their own work and soon discover it is not enough and become discouraged.

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It is the Infinitum Team's practice to take that hurt and discouragement and turn it into an aim. The aim is the goal post or shared mission for a system-wide change by learning and implementing system thinking. This improvement science is data based. Measures are created to support the aim and evaluate countermeasures on a regular basis. These measures are like a measuring stick in that they not only show whether the implemented changes are the desired improvement, but also if they are sustainable.

Every clinician knows how to provide care and has some basic improvement skills. The key is to expand that skill from the patient to the system that serves the patient. Awareness and methodology needs to be learned to create system thinking and system problem solving across the healthcare system. The Infinitum Team enjoys seeing the faces of the people we work with light up when that awareness hits them. At that point system thinking cannot be unseen. When system thinking and system problem solving become shared knowledge as people speaking the same language a culture change takes place and patient safety, patient satisfaction, and optimal health outcomes are met with returned enthusiasm for the work that clinicians are passionate about.

System-wide improvement takes dedication and energy that not everyone has when they first start on the system thinking journey. The Infinitum Team can perform an assessment to address this very normal starting point and prepare people by helping them understand through education and implementation. The Infinitum Team has observed three key elements:

Everyone must be included; a multi-disciplinary team that has at least one person from every area of the system is essential to system thinking from the patient's view. Everyone knows something about the system and they have working knowledge of their area within the system.

Gather, analyze, and understand the system data to measure the desired changes and standardize those changes into sustainable improvements. Data from the EMR, safety data, patient satisfaction data, employee data, and quality data are all pieces in the data picture.

Not every employee has "quality" or "system thinker" or in their title, but everyone should have "quality" and "system thinker" in their job description. It should be a mindset that is shared by all through education, training, and transferable knowledge for system thinking to be cultural.

The Infinitum Healthcare Transformation System teaches people how to view their work from the lens of the patient within the whole system by showing them how their work affects patient safety, patient satisfaction, optimal health outcomes, and how their work is interconnected as a system of care. Consideration of the patient from the time they enter the system to the time they leave is a new cultural mindset. This mindset is transferable knowledge between individuals, teams, and the healthcare organization as a whole. If you're interested in a system-wide improvement movement and want to talk about an assessment to determine your starting point on this journey, contact the Infinitum Team.