The ACR® ImPower Program provides site teams participating in an improvement collaborative with a unique opportunity to learn and work alongside other organizations solving the same problem at the same time and using the same processes. The program is based upon the premise that when people who do the work are taught and empowered to solve problems, the solutions are better, the front-line staff embraces the change, and improvement capabilities increase.
Throughout the ImPower Program, teams share what they have learned and support one another in implementing best practices in a way that works for them at their local site and sustains improvement.
Site teams are made up of a team leader, physician leader and team member process experts. Also, a quality improvement professional serves as a team coach and is an integral team member providing just-in-time teaching and project support throughout the project.
How Do Site Teams Learn and Improve?
Each team’s quality coach attends five two-hour coaching training sessions to gain skills in facilitating quality improvement. The sessions include topics such as leading improvement instead of doing improvement, developing measures and visualizing data, managing teams and projects, identifying and removing project barriers, and creating a culture of change.
The coaches apply the skills learned during the training to support their team in successfully progressing through the ImPower Program, to sustain improvements achieved beyond the program and to facilitate future quality work.
All team members participate in 10 two-hour learning sessions spaced across approximately six months during which teams learn key concepts about effective quality improvement.
The ImPower Program has undergone 10 years of development and rigorous iteration to ensure that all content is useful in problem solving and is delivered in a way that team members can easily apply to their own quality improvement projects.
Teams learn the structured process of A3 Thinking to guide improvement with each learning session corresponding to a different A3 Thinking section that includes, for example, a problem statement, documentation of current and target states. The A3 supports project documentation, helps build consensus, communicates progress and tells the story of the team’s efforts. View the full A3 template.
Walk the Wall
In between the learning sessions, participants engage in ongoing project work and attend regular project report sessions called “walk the wall.” These sessions provide an opportunity for teams to present progress, discuss challenges, consider solutions and learn from each other.
Walk the wall provides an opportunity to acknowledge and track a team's progress towards meeting established improvement milestones, e.g., defining a problem the team intends to solve and identifying the problem’s key drivers. An example of the project progress chart is shown below.