Nurses are often asked to lead or participate in Process Improvement projects, which are different from other types of projects at the hospital. One key difference is that solutions are not known up front but are developed and tested by the team during the project.
Why is this important?
Often, we see problems we’d like to solve or things we'd like to improve and, with the best of intentions, jump to solutions without fully understanding the root cause of the problem. We can end up dealing with the same problem over and over again.
Rather than jumping to solutions, process improvement provides a structured, stepwise, iterative approach to:
Understand the process underlying the problems we see
Involve the people who actually do the work in diagnosing process "lesions" and brainstorming solutions
Validate our assumptions with data
Try our ideas in the workplace using small tests of change (Plan – Do – Study – Act)
MGH has a Process Improvement department that resides in the Center for Quality and Safety and helps teams across the hospital apply process improvement methods.