What is the Science of Improvement? 

The Science of Improvement is a method for transforming big ideas into action.  It is an applied approach that emphasizes creative thinking, testing small changes, and spreading changes that work. The science of improvement combines expert subject knowledge with improvement methods and tools to solve complex problems.

The Pierce County ACH Strategic Improvement Team will promote the 5 core principles QI Improvement Science: 

Knowing why you need to improve
This is the business case or the problem that is sparking a need for change. Identifying your reason for change will ensure alignment and focus in your work. 

Knowing when a change is an improvement
In order to know whether a change is an improvement, there must be a system for measuring the work that is being done.

Developing a change that will result in improvement
Sometimes the solutions we can think of is what we have already tried. The Model for Improvement will provide new techniques and approaches to think about the problem differently resulting in innovative solutions. 
Testing a change before implementing: Central to QI Science is knowing that not all change is an improvement. Prior to implementing any change, it is important to plan, study, act or adjust the change and conduct the change in what is known as the PDSA cycle (Plan, Do, Study, Act).  

Knowing when and how to make the change permanent
Spreading and implementing changes is often the most important and most challenging part of improvement work.

Learning Community Objectives  
By engaging in learning activities offered by Pierce County ACH, our Learning Community members will receive technical assistance and support to implement their action plans. Doing this through a collaborative framework will support a standardized approach to process improvement and strengthen connections between providers and our community as they share successes and learn from their peers.

Learning activities will be offered throughout the course of the Medicaid Transformation Project and will be tailored to the needs voiced by our provider groups and community organizations. Grounded in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Science of Improvement, the
Pierce County ACH Learning Community will:  

  • Have access to Improvement Coaching and QI science resources
  • Have access to a toolkit of best practices and QI resources that will assist in moving initiatives forward at their organizations
  • Share best practices and use the WA Portal as a shared workspace for communicating with and learning from peers
  • Reporting and Measuring progress on a shared platform 
  • Learn how to spread and sustain