The Real Deal! QIPs

The Real Deal! QIPs

Ready to spill the gossip on Quality Improvement Projects (QIP)? Well, grab your popcorn! A QIP is a collaborative effort project within an organization aimed at successfully carrying out quality improvements. QIPs are used to execute a systematic and formal method to analyze organizational performance and achieve performance improvement through measurement. As W. Edwards Deming stated, “In God we trust…and all others must bring data.” If you cannot measure it, then you cannot improve it. So, here’s a quick QIP run-down:


The team members working on the QIP are very important. The Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) suggests that every QIP team include at least one member from the following roles: clinical leadership; technical expertise; day-to-day leadership; and a project sponsor. It’s also important to have a QIP Champion to lead the project’s efforts. IHI recommends that a team should be 5-8 team members, however, this varies depending upon the organization and the project. The primary focus should be on team diversityversus team size.


One of the first tasks of the QIP is to identify the opportunity for improvement of focus for the project. Next, the QIP should identify the desired (SMART) goals of the project and the associated metrics needed for performance measurement and analysis.


Timing is everything for starting a QIP. The project should be initiated when the organization has the time and allocated resources (time, staff allocation, finances, leadership support, etc.). If your organization is due to undergo a compliance or regulatory audit soon, it may not be the most opportune time to kick-start a QIP.


The advancement of today’s technology has afforded the ability for multiple-site healthcare organizations to meet in the “same space” virtually. However, it is suggested that the physical location of the QIP should be central to the process or entity of the organization undergoing improvement. Video & telephonic conferences have made it possible to have “central meeting spaces” that are seamless and convenient. They also encourage collaborative effort & engagement from all members of the team.


The most popular methods of quality improvement include (but not limited to) Six Sigma, Lean, and Model for Improvement. It’s imperative the QIP lead or champion be a subject matter expert in process and quality improvement. At the core of the “how” is the project plan. The QIP plan should be the guiding document for the team’s efforts. It is a “living” document that outlines who participates, how often the team meets, agreed project goals, key activities, deliverable dates, and a lay-out of the project’s process to drive improvement.


Need examples of QIPs?

Check out the link below. It provides QIP examples courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare Delivery Institute: