QI 202: Addressing Small Problems to Build Safer, More Reliable Systems
If an organization is to avoid catastrophic failure, staff members need to call out small problems as they arise in daily work. In this lesson, you’ll learn that organizations that successfully manage complexity have a deliberate approach to escalating the small concerns and suggestions of employees. Staff members know how to recognize problems, whom to contact, and how to get that person’s attention immediately. The leaders, in turn, avoid blame and provide the resources necessary to solve problems.
Estimated Time of Completion: 1 hour
Type of Activity: Knowledge
Release Date: 10/14/2011
Last Update Date: 11/16/2017
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Course Objectives
After completing this course, you will be able to:
1. Explain why system complexity requires us to take a methodical approach to system design, operation, and improvement.
2. Describe the connection between the effective escalation of staff members’ concerns and the prevention of catastrophic events.
3. List the conditions under which it’s possible for organizations to see and solve small problems quickly.
4. Give an example of a health care organization that achieved a significant clinical improvement through the deliberate and widespread escalation of staff concerns.
Tom Downes, MD, MRCP, MBA, MPH, Clinical Lead for Quality Improvement, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals View Profile
Steven Spear, DBA, MS, MS, Senior Lecturer, Massachusetts Institute Of Technology View Profile
Laura Fink, Director, Editorial and Online Learning, Institute for Healthcare Improvement View Profile
Jonathan Finkelstein, MD, MPH, Professor, Harvard University Medical School View Profile
Eugene Litvak, PhD, President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Optimization View Profile
Sean O'Neill, MD, PhD, Resident Physician, UCLA Health System View Profile
Continuing Education
ABIM US Physician CME/MOC 1.75 Credit hours UPN# 201472259
Certified Professionals in Healthcare Quality 1.75 Credit hours
CPPS Recertification 1.75 Credit hours
General Attendance 1.75 Credit hours
International General 1.75 Credit hours
Nursing Contact Hours 1.75 Credit hours
Pharmacist CPE 1.75 Credit hours UPN# JA0004698-0000-20-027-H05-P
US Physician CME 1.75 Credit hours

In support of improving patient care, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

This activity has been approved by the National Association for Healthcare Quality for CPHQ CE credit.
You must be a registered IHI.org user to take this course.
You must complete all the lessons within this course and achieve a minimum score of 75% in order to receive credit for the course.