Healthcare Improvement

Acknowledgement of Individuals for Development of the
Healthcare Improvement Skills Center (H.I.S.C.)

We would like to thank others who have contributed extensively to this effort. They include the talented and creative group at Medical Directions, Inc., Cheryl Novalis-Marine, MS, MBA, Robert W. Amend, MEd, and Stephen H. Buck, PhD, who have made these materials at once accessible and engaging; Sara Pfau, Christine Sciulli, MBA, Bryan Linkous, Andrew Brinkman, Sunny Lurie, PhD, and Ethel Smith, MD have also made significant contributions. Student web designers and programmers at Case Western Reserve University, David Ayaram, Stephan Bayer, Tim M. Sentgeorge, Latha Poonamallee, Husain Almezen, Ben Sigg, Bret Kiraly, and Matt Hill created initial prototypes of the site and modules. Theodore V. Parran, Jr., MD, Medical Director, at the Case Program in Continuing Medical Education, provided unflagging support and encouragement.

The HISC Collaborative

The Healthcare Improvement Skills Center (HISC) is an Internet resource for healthcare professionals. It has been developed through the combined efforts of the University of Missouri, Columbia, Academy for Post Graduate Medical Care Education and the Case Western Reserve University Division of Information Technology Services, with a great deal of support from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Its purpose is to support a wide variety of efforts on the part of healthcare professionals to make systematic improvements in the quality of the healthcare they provide to their patients.

HISC website:

The Need

Long after the publication of Crossing the Quality Chasm, there are surprisingly few resources available to support the development of basic healthcare improvement skills that are truly appropriate for working healthcare professionals. There are few resources that are:

  • Easily and always accessible
  • More practical than theoretical
  • Rich with examples and illustrative cases
  • Written in straightforward language rather than improvement jargon
  • Helpful in dealing with the everyday issues that keep improvement efforts from getting off the ground
The Response

Dr. Linda Headrick, then at the Case School of Medicine and MetroHealth Medical Center, received funding from the Network Contemporary Education Initiative, a project of the Center for Health Professionals at UCSF, to develop a “core curriculum” for improvement. Her intention was to pool the talents of a diverse group of healthcare improvement experts in order to craft a set of practical, web-based learning activities that providers would find easy to understand and complete. The point of the undertaking was to introduce core principles and methods of improvement in a down to earth way. Though each module could be taken independently, when two or more were completed, they should to foster a growing sense of perspective concerning the many challenges as well as the significant opportunities encountered when pursuing improvement in a systematic way. Experienced improvement educators were chosen to convert already successful learning units into highly engaging, self-study web modules. The resulting modules were peer reviewed by an interdisciplinary editorial advisory board of practicing clinicians, technical experts and internationally known quality improvement experts

What Will a Clinician Be Able to Do Differently When Returning to His/Her Practice?

The 2001 Institute of Medicine report described a large gap between evidence-based best practice and what we achieve on a daily basis for our patients. Clinicians who complete these self-study learning modules will be able to address this gap in their own practices. They will be able to:

  • analyze current care,
  • generate hypotheses about the link between action and results,
  • develop ideas about how to improve,
  • design a test of a change in practice, and
  • plan to disseminate and sustain successful results.