Clinical microsystems are the essential building blocks of health service organizations and our larger health system. Composed of patients, families, and care teams, research has illustrated that, “Increasing the capability of microsystems to improve work and to innovate is….the best strategy to achieve sustainable high performance organization wide”.

The Scarborough Hospital has prioritized “Innovation and Learning” at the clinical microsystem level as a key strategic goal. TSH’s primary aim was to implement a comprehensive set of training programs that met the specific learning needs of the broad range of individuals within our clinical microsystems: staff, patients, physicians, administrators and even health system partners.

Developed over the course of four years, TSH’s multi-model internal Lean and Quality Improvement (QI) training programs are specific to the QI culture, tools and processes utilized within our organization. This internal program allows TSH to promote the understanding and adoption of language, tools and processes consistent with quality improvement and problem solving at TSH.  The program has expanded from staff training, to a management program for formal leaders, and Lean training for Physicians and members of our Community Patient advisory council. Most recently, we have invited other community health service providers that engage frequently with TSH to be part of the training program; expanding the learning to others within our clinical microsystem.

As the growing demand for QI project support outstripped our internal dedicated QI Innovation and Performance Improvement (IPI) capacity, TSH also implemented the Innovation and Performance Improvement (IPI) Secondment program. Initially designed for Clinical Leaders (i.e. Managers and Clinical Educators), the program has expanded to include “Rising Star” Program graduates – staff recognized as potential future leaders. This unique Secondment program enables the organization to seed deep QI knowledge and Lean thinking by providing “TSH Rising Stars” the opportunity to spend 6 months within the TSH’s Office of Innovation and Performance Improvement (IPI).

The IPI Secondment Program has three overarching objectives:
For the secondee:  To learn facilitation skills and gain experience applying Lean improvement tools and thinking by preparing, leading and completing QI projects.
For the Home Program: To benefit from increased autonomy in QI work, as the secondee’s skills and experience will be utilized in leading and sustaining future changes.
For TSH’s Office of Innovation and Performance Improvement: To gain valuable insight from the clinical and corporate perspective to assist in strategizing large scale change management efforts.

While many organizations prioritize internal quality improvement training, TSH's breadth of offerings including a Secondment program, as well as expansion into the community, with our physicians and clients/family members, makes this program innovative.

The sustainability of this growing foundation of QI knowledge and internal capacity is a key focus for the organization. TSH’s next target is to continue its expansion of training offerings to other Health service providers that support the continuum of care for our Scarborough community. This will assist in building a common QI approach to improving our local clinical microsystem.

Contact Person:

Title:Director Innovation and Performance Improvement

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