High impact changes through being an “Agressive Incrementalist”

Today in a meeting with a health system executive, he talked about how they have spent several million dollars on big IT projects like installing EPIC, but those systems don’t seem to yield the clinical results that they are looking for. After learning of how one of our relatively inexpensive technology solutions could help significantly reduce the sepsis mortality rate at their hospitals, his biggest concern was how they could effectively implement it into their workflow with questions like “who would be looking at the system to know when we need to intervene?” Evidence is mounting that simple, people-based workflow changes can make a bigger difference than redoing entire clinical systems, as I wrote about last week in this post about using checklists. This executive’s comment was that it is better to be an “Aggressive Incrementalist” than try to take on huge changes all at once. Their approach to change made sense to me: tackle one issue at a time as simply as possible, then move on to the next one.

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