Quality through Sustainability and Transferability

Quality through Sustainability and Transferability

The Vohs Award for Quality and The Lawrence Award for Patient Safety

By Tom Janisse, MD

Summer 2007 - Volume 11 Number 3

Is an innovative practice that improves quality sustainable? Can it be transferred to other sites in a whole system of care for a large population? The future of American medicine depends on affirmative answers. This issue's four Original Articles answer these more difficult questions about quality innovation through successful demonstrations. A good idea is not enough, and as noted by Arthur Huberman, MD, who chaired the Transfer of Successful Practices Workgroup of the Kaiser Permanente (KP) Care Experience Council: "The complexity involved in transferring successful practices is often underestimated. It involves much more than knowledge of the technical aspects involved. In fact, cultural issues usually present the most significant challenges."1

The organizational process that lifts the most successful of these practices into view and recognizes them includes the Vohs Award for Quality and the Lawrence Patient Safety Award. With this issue, The Permanente Journal has published 23 Vohs Award projects over a seven-year period, and five Lawrence Award projects over three years, representing many KP regions and most major medical specialties.

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