As the basic building block of any health care delivery system, the microsystem is the unit where policy is put into practice, good value, and safe care are produced, and workplace motivators exist. The overall care provided by the entire organization can be no better that the sum of its frontline microsystems. Our work at The Dartmouth Institute Microsystem Academy is to engage with interdisciplinary health care professionals, organizations, and health systems to share our knowledge, methodologies, and tools to support the continual improvement of care at all levels.
Finding time to improve care can be difficult. The only way to improve and maintain quality, safety, and value is by blending analysis, change, measurement, and redesign into regular patterns and daily habits of frontline clinicians and staff. The Dartmouth Institute Microsystem Academy, the original developer of clinical microsystem theory, has a proven track record of working with dozens of healthcare organizations since the 1980s. We provide vital education, evaluation, and coaching tools and resources to help organizations achieve successful transformation to high performing organizations.
Empirical evidence has shown that interdisciplinary groups who have coaching support are more likely to be successful in their improvement efforts. “The Team Coaching Model” developed by Marjorie Godfrey, PhD, is grounded in multiple disciplines, theories, and original research focused on cultivating improvement capability at the front line of health care. The Team Coaching Model is based on direct experiences of coaching interdisciplinary health care professionals worldwide to transform cultures and behaviors to be able to provide care and simultaneously improve care for populations of patients.
The discipline of coaching aims to increase improvement and group dynamic capabilities. Coaching is not about “telling” groups what to do, but to engage in dialogue using humble inquiry and helping (Schein) to develop supportive relationships, explore new possibilities, innovate and assess desired improvements. Coaching includes 1) understanding group and system dynamics, 2) exploring one’s self through critical reflection, 3) applying clinical microsystem theory, and 4) enhancing effective communication, conflict management, and negotiation skills.
Thousands of individuals from over a dozen countries have participated in our distinctive coaching programs, which offer participants an opportunity to develop effective coaching skills in real time as they take on longitudinal coaching responsibilities of an interdisciplinary frontline team at their home sites.
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