“Highly Adoptable Improvement”: Minimizing Workload Burnout, while Maximizing Capacity and Value

Held November 3, 2014

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Change initiatives that do not add additional workload and have high perceived value are more likely to be adopted, cause less workplace burden and, achieve the intended outcomes. That’s the hypothesis behind “highly adoptable improvement”, which Dr. Chris Hayes, Medical Director of Quality and Performance at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and Canadian Harkness/Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice will introduce on this session of On Call. Too often, quality improvement (QI) adds additional tasks for frontline staff. The risks of not balancing or understanding workload, capacity and perceived value of doing QI can be significant, leading to staff burnout and diminishing their desire to take part in future QI efforts. In a world of best practice standards and QI reporting requirements, organizations must take care to support and create improvement champions, including clinical champions. Doing so, involves working with clinicians at the outset of QI to understand impacts to their workload; capacity or skills enhancements they require to successfully take part; and what value they place on the process and its outcomes. Armed with this information, organizations can build ‘coalitions of the willing’ – care providers who help to inform, deliver and sustain QI efforts, which will ultimately lead to better care for patients and families.

Learning Objectives:

  • Better understand the implications of workload, capacity and the value of doing QI for frontline staff
  • Learn what “highly adoptable improvement” is and how to create the conditions that make it possible
  • Gain knowledge of tools and resources that can help you routinely assess workload for undertaking QI


Chris-HayesChristopher Hayes, MD, MSc, MEd

Christopher Hayes is a 2013-14 Canadian Harkness/IHI Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice, which included spending nine months at IHI researching and developing the model for “highly adoptable improvement.” Dr. Hayes has been at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto since 2005, where he is the critical care response team site director and the medical director of quality and performance. He is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Medicine and the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. Since 2008, Hayes has been the medical officer for the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, where he chaired the Canadian Safe Surgery Saves Lives program. He is a recognized leader in patient safety and quality improvement, working with regional, national, and international organizations, and has received multiple distinctions and awards


Stephen Samis imageStephen Samis, Vice-President, Programs, CFHI

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