Leading Healthcare Improvement

Course Description:

The goal of this course is to shape VA Quality Scholars into leaders within their organizations. Fellows will acquire the necessary skills and content expertise to lead quality improvement projects and become agents of change. The practice-based, interactive sessions in the Leading Healthcare Improvement Course focus on using fellows’ current projects as hands-on learning for leadership skills. Fellows learn the steps to create a climate for change, bring together interprofessional teams, engage and enable institutions to change, and implement and sustain change.  The overarching competencies of this course are:


  1. Work with individuals of other professions to maintain a climate of mutual respect and shared values
  2. Use the knowledge of one’s own role and those of other professions to improve healthcare systems
  3. Communicate with patients, families, communities, and other health professionals in a responsive and responsible manner that supports a team approach to the improvement of healthcare systems.
  4. Apply relationship-building values and the principles of team dynamics to perform effectively in different team roles to improve quality and safety
  5. Formulate a personal leadership philosophy that will be effective in a post-fellowship career role

Sample Sessions:

  • Creating Urgency : Framing the Problem and Creating a Transformational Goal 
  • Forming a Power Coalition : Case for Clinician Leaders
  • Creating a Vision for Change 
  • Communicating Your Vision : Identifying Stakeholders
  • Empowering Others/Removing Obstacles : Conflict Management
  • Creating Short Term Wins : PDSA Cycles
  • Building on the Change : Identifying Future Directions of Your QI Project
  • Changes in Culture : Context of Organizational Culture