Success Stories

22 Organizations Learning Together

QI Leaders Academy Program



The goal of the program was to develop QI Leaders with the knowledge and skills to promote rapid and measurable improvements in public health work processes and outcomes and help build high performing cultures of quality improvement, within accredited public health organizations













So that the program builds:

  • Health Departments who improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their services beyond historical norms.
  • QI efforts have a higher return on investment; are focused on areas that are most important to its stakeholders and produces greater results faster than previously achieved.
  • All health department team members have the opportunity to become engaged in QI projects and apply QI on a daily basis.
  • The QI Leader helps to replicate their knowledge and skills in others so that it sustains over time.




QI Leaders building and applying the following:

  • Kaizen – Foundational QI and Kaizen training; Co-Lead a kaizen event in your health department with a QI Coach
  • QI Planning – Improvement Planning process training; Co-lead the improvement planning process with a QI Coach (data preparation, create plan, cascade plan through project teams)
  • qil-ss-5QI Culture – Train the Trainer session for QI for Individual Contributors; Co-Lead training sessions
  • Community – Actively participate in the QI Leader Program learning community; Document and submit the results of the kaizen event for submission to the Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange



A KAIZEN EVENT is a team-based approach to problem solving that flows through all phases of the improvement cycle effectively and rapidly. Before the event, a Kaizen-appropriate problem is identified along with goals in areas such as customer satisfaction, cycle time and labor reduction, and error elimination. The team is then mobilized and a Kaizen event begins. A typical event uses a systematic process to identify waste in the targeted work process, understand and analyze the root causes, identify and test solutions, extract learning, install improvements, and create a system for ongoing improvement. As the event progresses, numerous QI and change management methods and techniques are applied. All of this work is accomplished in a brief period of time, typically 5 days, with full benefits achieved within 0-3 months.qil-ss-6

ANNUAL IMPROVEMENT PLANNING is a structured process to focus improvement efforts on achieving needed organization outcomes.  Before the plan is created, data is gathered and analyzed (Customer, Organization, Process, Culture, and Learning).  Priority outcomes and drivers (projects) are identified and cascaded to project teams with teams creating their project measures, problem solving approach, resources, timeline, and project plans.  It is a process that addresses team structure, education, goal/target cascading, data evaluation, prioritization techniques, and change management into a comprehensive and logical sequence so that the organization achieves more results, faster.

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Creating a QI CULTURE involves engaging and empowering all organization members in actively improving their workplace and work processes every day, in order to achieve sustainable success beyond historical norms and what is even thought possible.  The QI for Individual Contributors course prepares every member of the organization to complete personal improvement activities and participate in team improvement activities.  QI Leaders learn to teach principles and techniques while Individuals learn and apply several techniques to the improvement cycle phases of establishing goals and measures; using data, waste & value to understand their current activities; performing cause and effect analysis to determine the root of the problems and identify solutions; testing and installing solutions.







QI LEADERS COMMUNITY is a learning community of approximately 27 QI Leaders who can share and draw upon one another going forward.  Communities such as this have a great deal of potential for growth of the individual, sharing of learning, and providing a significant impact on both individual organizations and public health in general. The skills and knowledge QI Leaders gain through the learning community, collaboration technology, and subsequent application will help to guide their local leadership teams to higher levels of performance and can be shared with others.




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Summary planning themes from the Program organizations:


“The skill set grown during my QI Leaders Academy experience enabled me to scale up my quality improvement toolbox to do more than improve program outcomes. The training and on-site coaching have aided in establishing QI as a set of tools to problem solve at all levels and to make change (and best manage change) as we continue to evolve as an organization.” Participating QI Leader


“Being involved in this program has moved our health department so far along with our QI efforts and really turned QI in to a full health department program, rather than just the QI coordinator’s program.”  Participating QI Leader