Would it work for us? Learning from quality improvement in Europe and beyond

J. Ovretveit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


DEVELOPING QUALITY TRANSFER TECHNOLOGY AND TRANSFERABILITY ASSESSMENT: Transferring a method or an approach that works in one organization to another organization may not produce the same effect. The result in one setting is an effect of the method or approach working within that system, not just an effect of the method or approach alone. THE CONTEXT FOR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT (QI): To better understand QI activities in a particular country, five aspects of the QI context need to be considered--the health care system, social values, health reform, history of quality assurance, and the language and politics of quality. For example, differences in terminology, even within one region of a country, undermine transferability of quality approaches and methods. LEARNING FROM OTHERS' SOLUTIONS AND STRATEGIES: The methods used to learn from others can be improved by seeking out reports describing the context of the improvement, by carefully deciding which facilities to visit and which conferences and networking events to attend, and by developing skills in judging transferability and in adapting others' strategies. CONCLUSION: Similar changes in health care in most countries are creating a climate more conducive to QI methods than in the past, and there is more experience with these methods and there are more examples of their successful application. Learning from others has more benefits than finding solutions to one's own quality problems. By examining others' approaches to QI one may become aware of issues that have been ignored or that are latent problems in one's own organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-22
Number of pages16
JournalThe Joint Commission journal on quality improvement
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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