Implement Practice Improvement Projects

Steps to Implementing Improvement Projects in Your Practice

Share survey results

  • Meet with other physicians and providers and with the work group to go over survey results. Discuss ideas to improve areas with low scores.

Create and implement improvement projects

  • First, look for problems identified in the survey that are easy to solve. For example, if patients said they had trouble finding parking, ask a work group member to research and suggest solutions (e.g., posting "patients only" parking signs, asking staff to park behind building) and a way to make sure the changes stick. Solving these easy problems first will boost everyone's confidence.
  • Next, prioritize the remaining areas with low survey scores. Tackle the top-priority area to improve first, then tackle the others in order of priority. For each area to improve, establish a small team, including a few work group members and staff who perform the work in that problem area. Select a team leader. Ask the team to do the following.
    • Map the current process that is not working well.
    • Look for ways to streamline the process to better meet patient needs.
    • Re-map the process, incorporating the suggested changes to redesign the process.
    • Test the redesigned process on a small scale.
    • Evaluate the test results. Did the redesign lead to improvement? If not, continue revising the process and testing the revisions on a small scale until you're happy with the results.
    • Implement the change in the practice.
  • Let patients know about the changes you've made in response to their feedback, perhaps through your practice newsletter. This tells them that you're really listening to them, and that the more they tell you, the more you can improve.

Keep up the good work!

Each time you ask patients for input, you'll learn of areas to improve. Continual improvement will become part of your practice culture, and your patients will benefit.

What you will need

  • Decision-making authority
  • Data from patient survey
  • Staff teams to perform improvement projects
  • Time to work on the projects

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Outcome: Improved practice processes that better meet patient needs

Time to Complete: Several months