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Tips and Tools for Learning Improvement
The Tips and Tools for Improvement Series is a set of competency-based materials developed by the USAID ASSIST Project to support targeted skill-building in key improvement competencies among health care providers, health care managers, Ministry of Health counterparts, and public health professionals who are new to improvement.
The materials can be used by an individual interested in improvement or can be used by improvement professionals as teaching tools during trainings or coaching visits to target and develop a specific skill. They are designed to complement improvement online courses and in-person trainings.
Each handout in the series is a self-contained, self-directed lesson with numerous competency-based exercises so that learners can practice the basic steps of improvement. An answer key is provided for each section, with additional information and commentary where appropriate.
The topics in this series include the following:
- Aims for Improvement – Learn to identify a good improvement aim and practice developing an aim.
- Aims for Improvement – Answer key
- Developing Changes – Learn to develop changes that address the root problems identified by improvement teams during the process of improving health care.
- Developing Changes – Answer key
- Flowcharts – Learn to use flowchart symbols and create and analyze a flowchart.
- Flowcharts – Answer key
- Improvement Teams – Learn to choose members of an improvement team and practice creating a team.
- Improvement Teams – Answer key
- Measurement for Improvement – Learn to develop and define measures for improvement.
- Measurement for Improvement – Answer key
- Measurement - Time Series Charts – Learn to create and plot data on a time series chart.
- Measurement - Time Series Charts – Answer key
- Measurement - Variation vs. Improvement – Learn to calculate the median and analyze a time series chart.
- Measurement - Variation vs. Improvement – Answer key
- Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Cycles – Learn to conduct a PDSA cycle and practice each part of the cycle.
- Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Cycles – Answer key
Each handout and answer key was drafted in consultation with an instructional design consultant and then reviewed by other improvement experts. The materials were then tested by both ASSIST headquarters and field staff who were relatively new to improvement.
The authors would like to thank Lisa Dolan-Branton, Nigel Livesley, Ankur Sooden, and Lani Marquez of URC for their inputs and review of the materials. We are grateful to Kurt Mulholland and Stephanie Batista for their layout and design of the series. We appreciate the guidance of Julie Dirksen of Useable Learning in designing competency-based exercises. We thank all those involved in testing the handouts and exercises: Alison Lucas, Brianna Geary, and Rachel Gutierrez from URC headquarters; the ASSIST Botswana team; and the ASSIST Lesotho team.