By Andrew Wray, Director, Learning & Strategic Initiatives
The Quality Academy is a six-month professional development program designed for improvement leaders from all sectors of the health care system. Over the course of five residency sessions, participants build their knowledge, skills and confidence in the core components of improving care while applying the concepts to an improvement project in their health authority. With nearly 100 participants having completed the program, the Quality Forum deep dive sessions presented a perfect opportunity to host the first Quality Academy Graduate Workshop.
The morning started off with an opportunity to meet new colleagues and catch up with familiar faces. With three cohorts in the room, many new connections were made and everyone had the opportunity to share their latest work. A couple of questions served as conversation starters for this speed networking session and soon led to incredible dialogue; there was no doubt that a number of conversations would be renewed at the breaks. The experience in the room and network of people facing common challenges exemplified one of the best parts of completing the Quality Academy: there is always someone to bounce ideas off of.
“Very interesting to meet new [Quality Improvement] leaders and learn about their projects and
the changes they’ve initiated and supported.” – Participant
The workshop continued with a field trip downstairs to join participants of another pre-Forum event, Social Media Camp, for its panel presentation. Moderated by Pamela Fayerman (Vancouver Sun health reporter), the panel featured Pat Rich (director & editor-in-chief online content for the Canadian Medical Association), Katherine Dodds (founder & creative director of Hello Cool World) and David Hume (executive director of citizen engagement for the Government of British Columbia) discussing the potential for social media to change health care. Really interesting advice and anecdotes were shared by the panelists about considerations for using social media effectively and the importance of recognizing the needs of your audience.
After a quick break and trip back upstairs, participants dove into the heart of the graduate workshop. One of the biggest challenges facing improvement leaders is the sheer scope and pace of changes that need to be made. There are increasing pressures to deliver sustainable improvements in multiple areas at a faster rate than in the past. But how do we manage? Using a recent WIHI podcast as a starting point, wide-raging discussions covered the link between cost and quality, explored the concept of “flooding the zone,” and the impact that our “new normal” has on the way we traditionally view spread and sustainability. This opportunity to reflect generated fantastic discussion and debate about an issue we are all wrestling with and hopefully led to new ideas about how to address this challenge.
“[What I found most valuable/enjoyable about this Graduate Workshop was the] Spread and Sustainability discussion and how to look at them differently – how collectively we can harness our creativity to change the face of health care.” – Participant
The next session took a deeper dive into a concept that would be presented by Helen Bevan during her plenary presentation at the Quality Forum: organizational energy is a key driver to making changes at an accelerated pace. The group then explored a practical tool for assessing the energy of the organization and discussed strategies for avoiding common traps and addressing low or negative energy.
Next, Linda Dempster (executive director of quality and safety with Vancouver Coastal Health and a Quality Academy Advisory Committee member) led a discussion about projects and priorities. Linda spoke with the participants about the important drivers of quality work and how we can align our efforts with those drivers. Throughout the discussion, participants were given several concrete tips to keep in mind when they returned to their workplaces – remember that you can’t do anything solely from a corporate office. Get out there!
The day wrapped up with a discussion about how the Quality Academy has contributed to the graduates’ evolving approach to leading improvement, and how graduates can continue their personal improvement journeys. There were some great insights about how the evolving network can stay connected and jointly solve common problems. With passionate improvement leaders like these to work with, there is no telling what they can accomplish!
“Great to engage and repower! Great to be among like-minded people!” – Participant
Thanks you very much to all of the graduates and faculty who participated– it was great to reconnect with so many of you, and the discussions were incredibly thought provoking and insightful. I left the day feeling incredibly energized and can’t wait to see what this network can accomplish together.
Did you attend the workshop? Leave a comment below about your takeaways or what you found valuable!