How to Avoid Analysis Paralysis and Underplanning in PDSAs

Posted February 23, 2017 by Josh Grant

PDSA Cycle Graphic
Reducing smoking in housing could make for a healthier Boston.

While there’s no single part of Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles that’s more important than the others, planning is the foundation of the work. After all, the P comes first.

But that building block can be more of a stumbling block for many stakeholders in quality improvement (QI) efforts. In some cases, teams might suffer from analysis paralysis, and in others they might move ahead before truly mapping out what they want to test or expect to achieve. In either case, the improper planning sets the tenor for the rest of the cycle and can minimize learning.

Fortunately, the steps to planning properly are fairly simple. Let’s take a look at how to ensure that PDSAs start on the right track.

Start Small
Analysis paralysis comes from overthinking. Complications and hypotheticals can prevent teams from moving forward; unintended effects are considered long before testing even begins.

That is why PDSAs are supposed to begin at the smallest possible scale. Instead of affecting 1,000 people, the first PDSA cycle should only affect one. Instead of overhauling the practices of an entire state health department program, a potential change should be tested for a subset of the program participants. This ensures that any potential drawbacks to a change are found early and can be avoided by learning from testing.

As data from tests are analyzed, the change idea should be adapted and then tested again on a larger scale. This process repeats itself until the idea is shown to have positive results with a high degree of confidence without creating unintended effects.

Be prepared
The ultimate goal of any PDSA cycle is to make a change that is an improvement. As a result, teams can sometimes want to jump straight ahead to adopting a promising sounding idea without planning to fully test the change in various situations to make sure it is truly an improvement.

Identifying and planning for change gives a team a goal to achieve and work towards together. Planning early for PDSAs creates an understanding of what should be done and how it should be studied. Without it, teams can experience setbacks as those who the changes impact push back on the changes.

Bottom line: The idea behind PDSAs is to create momentum for sustainable change. Starting small and planning for change lets you get off on the right foot. 


Share:

Add your comment

 
 

 

Archive

Tagcloud

quality improvement tips QI PDSA cycle baby box safe sleep nichq infant mortality family engagement eccs coiin immunizations health equity health disparities accreditation im coiin astho onboarding collaboration engagement partnerships larc nashp breastfeeding new york wic new york state hospitals mom mother partners epilepsy data AAP early childhood pdsas texas community support learning session children's health new technology engineering transgender collaborative learning planning PDSA planning paralysis underplanning analysis paralysis vision eye health smoking smoke-free housing second-hand smoke toolkit e-module infant health dental care oral health underserved populations health inequity public health Maternal and Child Health Journal leadership engagement Sickle cell disease indiana SCD medicaid perinatal regionalization sudden infant death syndrome national birth defects prevention month birth defects pregnancy planning one key question prepregnancy health preconception health public breastfeeding support families patients experts insights CHOPT childhood obesity innovation food desert telemedicine TBLC breastfeeding supporting preterm birth prematurity racial disparities audiology ehdi follow-up illinois talana hughes vulnerable populations sports asthma soccer basketball obesity football SIDS Pokemon Go gamification smartphones interconception care birth spacing issue brief contraceptive use postpartum care CoIN HRSA early childhood trauma NHSA community health consumer advocacy womens health interconception health teenage health PATCH wisconsin missouri risk appropriate care community health workers SCD< infographic infant mortality awareness month inspirations childrens health national breastfeeding month maternal health patient engagement hearing loss hearing treatment pediatric vision vision screening eyesight pre-term birth early-term birth SCD clinic los angeles LOCATe CDC levels of care neonatal care maternal care smoking cessation project safe sleep practices neonatal abstinence syndrome NAS opioids maternal and child health MCH Family voices quality care mental health hydroxyurea SCDTDP men dads testing change data sharing state government city government apps sleep AJPM preconception care senior leadership breastfeeding support video series access BQIH exclusive breastfeeding long-acting reversible contraception unplanned pregnancies social determinants of health health innovations Best Babies Zone CoIIN baby boxes Rhode Island progesterone rooming-in Baby-Friendly parent partner patient and family engagement healthy weight healthy lifestyles primary care telementoring ECHO video conferencing socioemotional health childhood development pediatric Tennessee interview National Coordinating and Evaluation Center medical-legal partnerships mobile app disparities perinatal care overweight obese healthy weight clinic wellness pilot sites data collection education resources paternal engagement risk-appropriate care preterm infants high-risk babies Ten Steps public relations social movement reversible contraceptives medical home pediatric medical home patient transformation facilitator PTF skin-to-skin rooming in prenatal smoking information visualization charts SUID postpartum new mother webinar AMCHP QI Tips ongoing improvement fourth trimester partnership quality and safety coaching leadership support year end holiday message reflections gratitute Medicaid data doctor relationship PQC perinatal quality collaboratives vision care vision health evidence-based guidelines ASH health and wellness healthy living healthy eating home visitors home visiting programs March of Dimes APHA results evaluation supplementation formula reduction video infant loss social media advocacy leadership Berns Best Fed Beginnings Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding sustainability stress prenatal care data capacity epidemiologists surveillance data PFAC community partners preconception and interconception care motivational interviewing Native Americans ADHD NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Scale ADHD Toolkit system design care coordination skin to skin newborn screening reduce smoking aim statement safe birth Texas Ten Step skin-to-skin contact 10 Steps staff training small tests acute care mother-baby couplet collective impact population health preconception Newborn Screening Program substance abuse breast milk formula milk bank crisis first responders NYC improvement healthcare health system sickle cell diease treatment protocol family health partner maternity care Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network Health Outcomes Cross-Sector Collaboration Knowledge Sharing Child Health