QI Project to Improve Relationships Between Departments

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 10:10 -- johnshutze

One of our clinics wants to organize a QI project around building/improving relationships across departments. I'm looking for a case study to assist them and learn from the experience of others. What experience and suggestions do you have in this area? 


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Submitted by choff on

I don't have experience with that exact project but with similar projects aiming to increase the level of awareness within teams or departments. The biggest suggestion I have is to help the team identify a specific way to assess the current level of relationships. Survey team members about the strength of the relationship, count the number of times people from different departments work together on formal projects, track what percentage of time people spend each week on relationship building, etc. If they are clear on the baseline of the relationships they will be able to test any strategy they think will improve the relationship measure.

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Submitted by gkroberts on

What an awesome QI project idea! I think all departments everywhere could benefit from this type of project. I could not find a specific case study, but I did come across this article that might be helpful for your cause, titled "17 Strategies for Improving Collaboration." From this article, I think the following apply directly for your project:

  • 3. Create a clear, compelling and urgent cause.
  • 6. Get to “YES” fast. Focus on what’s working between tribes.
  • 10. Recognize, reward and celebrate collaborative behavior.
  • 11. Make innovation a preeminent focus.
  • 12. Brand everyone as a junction box for knowledge.
  • 13. Think systemically.
  • 17. Honor requests – keep your promises.

Good luck and please update us on your project process and outcome so others could learn from your experience.

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Gurleen Roberts, MPH
Director of Quality Management
Cobb & Douglas Public Health
Marietta, GA