You are here

Theory of Change Model

Change is constant in healthcare, whether it’s driven by efforts to comply with the Affordable Care Act, preparation for Magnet Status, work to improve HCHAPS scores, or some other pressing initiative. The need to be able to successfully adapt processes, practices, culture, and performance to shifting demands is universal to every practice environment.

ICLN’s programming is developed to support an individual, team, and organization’s capacity to problem solve and effectively respond to the need for change.

In the words of Steven Spear, a Senior Lecturer at MIT and a Fellow for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, "Health care leaders have to realize that meaningful change cannot be bought like a new diagnostic tool; it has to be earned by engaging health care professionals broadly in seeing and solving problems and incorporating new learning as part of their daily work."

ICLN’s theory of change model is derived from and validated by the success of Integrated Nurse Leadership Program (INLP).  ICLN’s Executive Director, Julie Kliger, MPA, BSN, RN, led this work in the capacity of Program Director for INLP, through the University of California’s Center for Health Professions.

This highly reliable program model has widespread applicability and can be used for a broad range of improvement work, like efforts to: improve workplace communication, enhance team performance, reduce workplace toxicity, and much more.

The model calls for skill building at every level within the organization – executive, management, and frontline levels – to increase organizational capacity to create and lead transformative change. The model places special emphasis on developing ‘soft’ skills in areas such as leadership and change management to promote sustainability and spread and relies on rigorous data collection and analysis to track and measure change.

Learn more about the model by visiting the AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange.

Four Pillars of Successful Change

The INDIVIDUAL pillar focuses on developing awareness of one’s own preferences and on cultivating emotional intelligence, including an understanding of how one’s actions influence the work and everyone involved in it.

The TEAM pillar focuses on how high-performing teams function, complete their work, communicate, and ensure accountability.

The ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE pillar focuses on developing “political savvy”—that is, an understanding of both formal and informal power sources within an organization, along with skills related to strategic communication, stakeholder identification, and forming allies.

The PROCESS pillar tends to be more technical in nature, focusing on evidence-based practices related to the activity to be improved, relevant data and quality improvement indicators, how to use data to predict the next test of change, and other related issues.