QI 104: Interpreting Data: Run Charts, Control Charts, and Other Measurement Tools*
In this course, we’ll delve into how to draw an effective run chart. We'll show you how adding helpful elements such as a baseline median, goal line, and annotations of your tests of change can create a compelling picture of your progress toward improvement. We'll teach you the difference between common cause and special cause variation. And we'll show you how to detect signs of special cause variation by applying four rules to a standard run chart or by drawing a control chart. Once you've got that down, we'll introduce you to three more great tools for displaying data and learning from the variation you're seeing.

*This course is required for the Basic Certificate in Quality and Safety.

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Estimated Time of Completion: 1 hour 30 minutes
Type of Activity: Knowledge
Release Date: 12/18/2009
Last Update Date: 8/14/2016
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Course Objectives
After completing this course, you will be able to:
1. Draw a run chart that includes a baseline median, a goal line, and annotations.
2. Describe the difference between common and special cause variation.
3. Explain the purpose of a Shewhart (or control) chart.
4. Apply four rules to identify non-random patterns on a run chart.
5. Explain when and how to use the following tools for understanding variation in data: histograms, Pareto charts, and scatter plots.
Kevin Little, PhD, Principal, Informing Ecological Design, LLC View Profile
David Williams, PhD, Improvement Advisor, DMW Austin LLC View Profile
Mike Briddon, MA, Director, Multimedia and Virtual Programs, Institute for Healthcare Improvement View Profile
Laura Fink, Director, Editorial and Online Learning, Institute for Healthcare Improvement View Profile
Matthew Eggebrecht, Senior Consultant, University of Minnesota View Profile
James Moses, MD, MPH, Chief Quality Officer, Boston Medical Center View Profile
Lloyd Provost, MS, Improvement Advisor, Associates in Process Improvement View Profile
Richard Scoville, PhD, Improvement Adviser, Institute for Healthcare Improvement View Profile
Continuing Education
ABIM US Physician CME/MOC 1.50 Credit hours UPN# 201472255
Certified Professionals in Healthcare Quality 1.50 Credit hours
CPPS Recertification 1.50 Credit hours
General Attendance 1.50 Credit hours
International General 1.50 Credit hours
Nursing Contact Hours 1.50 Credit hours
Pharmacist CPE 1.50 Credit hours UPN# JA0004698-0000-20-024-H05-P
US Physician CME 1.50 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.