James M Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence
Improvement Science Education

Improvement Science Education

In the Anderson Center, we are developing a system of improvement science education that supports the transformation of the organization and catalyzes the cultural shift necessary to be a leader in improving child health. Our approach is to provide educational offerings across multiple levels of content and skill, providing faculty and staff the ability to incorporate improvement into their strategic priorities and daily work, allowing them to fulfill their roles.

Improvement science is incorporated into our performance management system, which requires a competency around continuous improvement. Staff members are required to build improvement capability in themselves and others by improving processes and services with an emphasis on measurable results, including use of prediction and testing changes, as a vehicle for learning and improvement.

Below you will find a description of our improvement science offerings. All leaders in the healthcare industry are eligible to apply for the Intermediate Improvement Science Series and Advanced Improvement Methods. Only Cincinnati Children's faculty and staff may apply for the Basic Online Modules and Rapid Cycle Improvement Collaborative.



ImpactU is a six-month, hands-on course designed to provide community leaders with an in-depth understanding of improvement science and build a broader community of improvement leaders. The course, created by our hospital and facilitated by the Anderson Center's Leadership Academy, leverages custom-tailored curriculum we have used for over 15 years to develop hundreds of improvement leaders.

ImpactU is offered once per year, by invitation only, to key partners in the community who are committed to leading improvements in their system to achieve desired outcomes. Participants lead a team who work on real projects using a hands-on approach to drive quality improvements as they apply and build upon the skills and methods taught. Projects are aligned with an organizational goal as well as a shared community goal described by All Children Thrive (ACT):

  • Excellent and equitable health outcomes – Ensure delivery of equitable care and strengthen health-related wraparound supports to achieve excellent outcomes for children and families
  • Safe and supported families – Activate and integrate family voice in the community, prevent and mitigate adversities to families in our community, and improve access to evidence-based trauma prevention and intervention
  • Path to full potential - Optimize each child's development and learning across their life trajectory
  • A six-month, hands-on course
  • One or two full day(s) per month of training and approximately two - three hours per week outside of the class to work on selected project
  • Interactive / action-based learning
  • Connections with peers from multi-sector work

Rapid Cycle Improvement Collaborative (RCIC)


Aimed at small teams who are recommended and sponsored by their leadership. RCIC is designed to achieve a measurable improvement in a focused, narrow-scoped project in 120 days by a team. The RCIC develops the team leader's ability to lead a narrow-scoped improvement project using the Model for Improvement and builds team members' capability in using the model and basic QI tools.

>See course brochure.

  • For entire team including leaders; approximately six half-day sessions
  • Team leaders only; in addition to the six half-day sessions with the team, there is a one-day orientation on leading teams and an additional four half days of training
  • Sessions include instruction, application examples and time to work on team project

Lean Collaborative 


The Lean Collaborative is an eight-week, hands-on, team-based course designed to deepen participants' ability to solve problems and improve operational performance. The course, created by our hospital and facilitated by the Anderson Center's Leadership Academy, is based on the lean tools and methods utilized in the Toyota Production System (TPS) and top performing healthcare organizations to identify non-value added work and lead improvements in safety, quality, productivity, lead time, cost effectiveness, and staff burden.

The Lean Collaborative is offered quarterly to Cincinnati Children's employees and, by invitation only, to key partners in the community who are committed to driving change that eliminates non-value added work and improves customer satisfaction. Attendees include top management, middle managers, frontline staff and leaders in clinical and / or administrative areas.

Participants will learn the history and philosophy of lean and how to adopt the tools/methods in their setting. They will use a combination of classroom exercises and a team-based project to demonstrate a basic understanding of:

  • Process observation and identification of non-value added work
  • Visualization of material, people, and information flow in a value stream map
  • Standardization, work measurement and "5S"activities
  • Problem solving and PDSA improvement cycles
  • Project summarization using A3 (1-page) reporting

There is a fee for participating in this course.

For more information, email us at lean_collaborative@cchmc.org

  • An eight-week, hands-on course
  • Six half day(s) of training and approximately two to four hours per week outside of the class to work on selected project
  • Hands-on, team-based learning and one-on-one coaching
  • Connections with peers from multi-sector work

Intermediate Improvement Science Series (I2S2)


Cincinnati Children's employees: Course is intended for leaders including physicians, nurses, allied health and nonclinical leaders, at the director level or above. Your supervisor will nominate you for the course.

Leaders outside of Cincinnati Children's: We welcome leaders from other healthcare systems to apply for the Intermediate Improvement Science Series (I2S2). Learn more about how the program would benefit you.

The aim of I2S2 is to build a broader and deeper network of improvement leaders, bring about continued cultural transformation and develop skill and experience with all aspects of Deming's System of Profound Knowledge. It includes understanding variation, appreciation of the system, theory of knowledge / action-learning and psychology / change management.

> See course brochure.

> See an I2S2 key driver diagram.

  • Seven on- and off-site sessions over a six-month period
  • Work on a project between sessions with a coach
  • Extensive readings
  • Issues in healthcare quality including the business case for quality
  • Systems thinking, understanding variation, the model for improvement, leading change
  • QI tools and methods
  • Chronic care improvement
  • Patient safety and reliability science

Advanced Improvement Methods (AIM)


Advanced Improvement Methods (AIM) is a highly interactive course for faculty who lead improvement projects and already know the basics of QI and clinical epidemiology and/or research methods. 

Through brief didactic sessions, case studies, simulation exercises and projects, participants will:

  • Enhance knowledge and skills to apply the science of improvement to the design, implementation and study of quality improvement initiatives in clinical settings
  • Apply improvement theory and methods to the leadership of projects involving research, clinical care and operations
  • Four two-day sessions
  • Six 90-minute webinars
  • Work on project and readings between sessions
  • Lecture, case studies, simulation exercises
Target Audience

Cincinnati Children's faculty and faculty from other academic medical centers.

How Can I Participate?

Learn more about how the program would benefit you and find an application for admission that includes information about 2020-2021 dates for workshops and conference calls, application deadline and fees, expectations of participants, selection criteria and our faculty.

> See course brochure.

Leadership Academy Success

Anderson Center Leadership Academy Success.
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Apply for I2S2

Contact Us and Apply.

We welcome leaders from healthcare systems outside of Cincinnati Children’s to apply for Intermediate Improvement Science Series (I2S2) training.

Learn More

Apply for AIM

Contact Us and Apply.

We welcome leaders from healthcare systems outside of Cincinnati Children’s to apply for Advanced Improvement Methods (AIM) training.

Learn More

Contact Us

Contact us.

For more information about improvement science education programs, contact Leadership Academy.