A blueprint for building an emergency department quality improvement and patient safety committee

UHN-LC-Blueprint for QIPS Committee

University Health Network (ED)

The field of quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS) has matured significantly in emergency medicine over the past decade. From standalone, strategically misaligned, and incoherently designed QIPS projects years ago, emergency department (ED) leaders have now recognized that developing a more robust QIPS infrastructure helps prioritize and organize projects for a greater likelihood of success and impact for patients and the system. This process includes the development of a well-defined, accountable, and supported departmental QIPS committee. This can be achieved effectively using a deliberate and structured approach, such as the one described by Harvard Business School Professor John Kotter in his seminal work, “Leading Change.” Herein, we present a blueprint using this framework and include practical examples from our experience developing a robust and successful ED QIPS committee and infrastructure. The steps include how to develop a “burning platform,” select a guiding coalition of leaders, develop a strategic vision and initiatives, recruit a volunteer army of members, enable actions for the committee, generate short-term successes, sustain the pace of change, and, finally, enable the infrastructure to support ongoing improvements. This road map can be replicated by ED teams of variable sizes and settings to structure, prioritize, and operationalize their QIPS activities and ultimately improve the outcomes of their patients.


Authors: Lucas B. Chartier, Sameer Masood, Joseph Choi, Barb McGovern, Stephen Casey, Steven Marc Friedman, Danielle Porplycia, Sarah Tosoni, Sam Sabbah

Lucas B. Chartier - lucas.chartier@uhn.ca

Project complete