This lesson focuses on the “life cycle of a quality improvement project.” Improvement projects typically go through four phases: innovation, pilot, implementation, and spread. In this lesson, we’ll explain the four phases, and then look at how they play out in the improvement work of one hospital, Contra Costa Regional Medical Center. You’ll read excerpts from the actual report describing Contra Costa’s project to improve the safety of medication practices, especially at points of transition — where more than half of all medication errors occur.
Estimated Time of Completion: 20 minutes
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:
1. Describe the four phases of an improvement project.
2. Explain how an improvement project moves through each one of these phases.
3. Give an example of an improvement project that moved through each of these phases, leading to higher-quality care at a real health care organization.
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