Building a Culture of Collaboration Within Multilevel Systems
In our line of work, positive outcomes depend on the careful synergy of multiple systems. Because children’s health is influenced by a great many factors, simultaneously engaging systems at the community, city, state and government level is essential for significant change.
All too often we discover that two state agencies can be closely aligned on their goal, but working independently to reach it. When we work collaboratively instead, we’re able to pool, leverage and reinforce our resources for a common aim—a major benefit when such resources are often extremely limited.
A new e-course—NICHQ’s Essentials of Collaboration—provides strategies for healthy collaboration. One of the first steps is setting a clear aim, so that participants in an improvement project at all system levels know what they are working toward and understand their role in creating change. As we work to unite everyone around a common aim, team leaders should attempt to gain a complete picture of the context under which participants are currently working. Once they have a firm grasp on the specific assets and limitations of each system, leaders can provide teams with the right tools and resources to reach their goal.
When it comes to understanding the nuances of how a system operates, active listening can be incredibly powerful. Active listening is not only helpful in fostering the robust relationships at the heart of healthy collaboration; it may also shed light on the historical context of each system (as well as the areas where various systems intersect). Active listening can also bring about a shift in perspective that allows team leaders to guide collaboration more effectively. Rather than asking how to get participants fully engaged in the improvement process, for instance, we might frame the question as: “What do team members need from us so that they can fulfill their goals?” This subtle distinction helps in adopting a collaborative mindset.
Another key aspect of cultivating healthy collaboration is tuning into each participant’s unique strengths and weaknesses. Pinpointing weak spots can help you anticipate the necessary resources to support the team, while identifying and honoring a team member’s strengths can boost motivation and give projects fuel for long-lasting change. By capitalizing on people’s strengths, you grant them the opportunity to do what they most enjoy. And when people quickly see results from their work, they’re usually inspired to stay committed and even step up their efforts.
From 50th in the Nation to a National Success. Delaware Improves Early Childhood Outcomes
Right now, more than 15 percent of children miss out on early developmental screenings and risk their future health. Find out what Delaware is doing to prioritize screenings and make sure Delaware children start school healthy and prepared.
NICHQ’s New Clinical Director of Early Childhood Initiatives Has a Plan for Improvement
As NICHQ’s new Clinical Director of Early Childhood Initiatives, Jill Sells, MD, FAAP, is invested in improving early childhood systems on a national scale. Keep reading to find out more about her goals and learn what gets her up in the morning ready to drive change in early childhood systems.
Improving Children’s Vision in Your State: Three Teams Share Lessons Learned
Early childhood eye care can drastically change a child’s health and well-being. For the past two years, improvement teams in Arizona, Ohio and Wyoming have been working to increase screenings and identify measures that can be spread to other states and communities. Here are some of their key lessons-learned.
What 2018 Means for Children’s Health
We recently sat down with NICHQ President and CEO Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP, who shared his thoughts on building on 2017’s successes, the biggest opportunities in 2018 and how NICHQ can drive change in children’s health outcomes. Check out a short video and then read on to uncover what Berns is prioritizing in 2018.
Creating a Structure for Improvement in Complex Systems
Positively intervening in early childhood development means creating a system that supports the people at all levels, from those working in healthcare and social services settings, to daycare and community support networks, to those in the child’s home. These three essential strategies can help develop such a system, close the gap between research and practice, and take positive steps toward change.
What’s Next for Sickle Cell Disease Improvement? Three Areas That Still Need Our Attention
Right now, close to 100,000 people in the U.S. are battling sickle cell disease (SCD). This means that 100,000 people, many of whom are children, spend days experiencing acute pain, dealing with costly and uncomfortable hospitalizations, and fighting off infections. We can change that. Here are three key areas for targeted improvement.