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The Improvement Collaborative: An Approach to Rapidly Improve Health Care and Scale Up Quality Services

USAID Health Care Improvement Project
Organization: USAID Health Care Improvement Project/URC

This report describes the Improvement Collaborative approach as adapted by the USAID-funded Quality Assurance Project and Health Care Improvement Project. An improvement collaborative is a quality improvement approach that brings together a large number of teams to work and learn together to rapidly achieve significant improvements in a specific area of care, with intention of spreading these methods to other sites. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) designed the approach as a strategy to help health care organizations in the U.S. rapidly improve health care quality and outcomes. The paper draws on the lessons learned in implementing over 35 improvement collaboratives in 14 developing and middle income countries. It describes seven essential features for the successful implementation of an improvement collaborative and the key activities that occur during each of a collaborative’s phases: the preparatory phase, the implementation/demonstration phase, and the spread phase.

The paper is also available in French.