Q&A: Sustaining Improvement Success in Healthcare

Pivotal Resources Q&A

Why is sustaining improvement success in healthcare so difficult?

This is difficult in any industry, but healthcare definitely faces special challenges.  Of many reasons why efforts fade, among the most important:

  • Confusing priorities – Whether it’s trying to do too much or shifting needs, early success is often overwhelmed by the inability to stay focused.  As soon as good ideas are developed or implemented, attention is diverted and progress is lost.
  • Imposing solutions – “Best practice sharing” is a powerful way to spread innovation.  But healthcare is personal: administrators, physicians and staff need to own their practices and procedures.  Even the best ideas require finesse and patience to take root.
  • Assuming buy-in – The most important time to ramp-up “Change Management” is often after an improvement has been implemented—but ironically that’s usually when it ends: when support is still shaky.


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