Learn more about Daniel Barlow, MD

Author Bio

Daniel Barlow, MD

Dr. Daniel Barlow joined Health Catalyst in October of 2016. Prior to Health Catalyst, he was a resident in General Surgery at Dartmouth. Dan has an MD from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and an MS in clinical research from The Dartmouth Institute of Health Policy and Clinical Research.

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Daniel Barlow, MD

Why Clinicians Are the Missing Link in Healthcare Quality Improvement and Three Principles to Solve the Problem

When it comes to successful quality improvement (QI) in healthcare, clinicians tend to be the missing link. Fortunately, the disconnect between QI initiatives and the day-to-day work of clinicians can be explained and resolved if health systems adopt and embrace three clinician-focused principles:

Principle #1: QI starts at the front line (initiatives should be identified and driven by clinicians).
Principle #2: QI makes it easy for clinicians to do the right thing (removes barriers to good work rather than increasing the amount of work clinicians do).
Principle #3: QI empowers clinicians to adapt care (even if it’s not QI protocol).

Although some clinicians are enthusiastic advocates of their systems’ QI efforts, most are suspicious because they’re frequently cut out of the decision-making process or forced to ignore their best clinical judgement. Health systems that work to close the gap between leaders and clinicians by embracing these three principles will add the missing link—clinicians—back into successful healthcare QI.