This book is about using data to improve health care1 and this chapter, a summary of The Improvement Guide,2 describes approaches and methods used to make improvements. It provides a backdrop, setting the stage for understanding and contextualizing the rest of the book. This chapter will:

  • Describe the Model for Improvement
  • Illustrate use of the Plan, Do, Study, Act Cycle for testing and implementing changes
  • Introduce graphical methods to learn from data
  • Describe a typical health care improvement project
  • Enumerate the methods and tools used to support improvement

How do you make improvements? Historically people have used a trial-and-error approach to improving all aspects of their lives. Typically an idea ...

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