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Organizing for Quality Improvement in Health Care: An Example From Childhood Obesity Prevention.


Children in rural areas face higher rates of obesity than children in urban areas, and their clinicians face challenges with preventing and managing obesity and translation of evidence into practice. We evaluated how the quality improvement (QI) intervention, Healthy Eating Active Living TeleHealth Community of Practice (HEALTH COP), at 7 rural California clinics addressed these challenges. Focus group interviews with QI team members assessed their experiences and factors related to adoption of key changes. Key challenges were clinician and staff buy-in, changing ingrained clinical practices, and motivating patient and families. Facilitators were top-down organizational requirements for QI, linkages to local QI resources, involvement of clinical champions, alignment with existing practices, incorporating a learning system connecting similar clinics, and clear and consistent communication channels. Evaluations of QI interventions should include not only measurement of effectiveness but also identification of factors associated with change and interactions with organizational processes and contexts.

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