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Damschroder LJ, Yankey NR, Robinson CH, Freitag MB, Burns JA, Raffa SD, Lowery JC. The LEAP Program: Quality Improvement Training to Address Team Readiness Gaps Identified by Implementation Science Findings. Journal of general internal medicine. 2021 Feb 1; 36(2):288-295.
BACKGROUND: Integrating evidence-based innovations (EBIs) into sustained use is challenging; most implementations in health systems fail. Increasing frontline teams'' quality improvement (QI) capability may increase the implementation readiness and success of EBI implementation. OBJECTIVES: Develop a QI training program ("Learn. Engage. Act. Process." (LEAP)) and evaluate its impact on frontline obesity treatment teams to improve treatment delivered within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). DESIGN: This was a pre-post evaluation of the LEAP program. MOVE! coordinators (N = 68) were invited to participate in LEAP; 24 were randomly assigned to four starting times. MOVE! coordinators formed teams to work on improvement aims. Pre-post surveys assessed team organizational readiness for implementing change and self-rated QI skills. Program satisfaction, assignment completion, and aim achievement were also evaluated. PARTICIPANTS: VHA facility-based MOVE! teams. INTERVENTIONS: LEAP is a 21-week QI training program. Core components include audit and feedback reports, structured curriculum, coaching and learning community, and online platform. MAIN MEASURES: Organizational readiness for implementing change (ORIC); self-rated QI skills before and after LEAP; assignment completion and aim achievement; program satisfaction. KEY RESULTS: Seventeen of 24 randomized teams participated in LEAP. Participants'' self-ratings across six categories of QI skills increased after completing LEAP (p < 0.0001). The ORIC measure showed no statistically significant change overall; the change efficacy subscale marginally improved (p < 0.08), and the change commitment subscale remained the same (p = 0.66). Depending on the assignment, 35 to 100% of teams completed the assignment. Nine teams achieved their aim. Most team members were satisfied or very satisfied (81-89%) with the LEAP components, 74% intended to continue using QI methods, and 81% planned to continue improvement work. CONCLUSIONS: LEAP is scalable and does not require travel or time away from clinical responsibilities. While QI skills improved among participating teams and most completed the work, they struggled to do so amid competing clinical priorities.