From 2000 to 2002, investigators at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement adapted the organization's existing model for health care improvement processes, known as the Breakthrough Series, for use on the Internet.
The project made the model more readily available to the rural health care sites and federally designated community health centers that serve as safety net providers.
During the grant period, project staff:
- Created an Internet-based infrastructure that used chat rooms to eliminate the need — and associated cost — of the on-site meetings required in its traditional Breakthrough Series.
- Pilot tested this distance learning approach with three community health centers and four rural sites.
- Assessed the technology and training needs of participating sites and offered support as necessary. Project staff found that community health centers were more active than rural teams in testing strategies for improving care, such as diabetes screening and promoting self-management.
- Worked one-on-one with the rural sites to understand the challenges they faced in using the electronic materials.