Learning Collaboratives: A Strategy for Quality Improvement & Implementation in Behavioral Health
In 1995, The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) launched its Breakthrough Series (BTS) collaboratives to improve healthcare. These are often referred to as learning collaboratives. Key elements of these BTS learning collaboratives, as identified by IHI in its early publications, included: selecting a specific improvement topic, recruiting expert faculty, enrolling organizations and teams, face-to-face learning sessions, Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles of change, technical assistance to teams, inter-agency sharing and learning, and summation of results and lessons learned. The IHI model was widely disseminated and adopted nationally and internationally.
To educate technical assistance providers about learning collaboratives and their potential use in quality improvement and implementation, the MHTTC Network Coordinating Office commissioned a review. Conducted by the Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce, it addresses these questions: what are learning collaboratives; what is the evidence for their effectiveness; what are their key elements; how have they been applied in behavioral health; and what are best practices for use in behavioral health? The review concludes with a summary of key findings and a set of recommendations for technical assistance providers.
For the accompanying Resources document, see Resources on Planning and Conducting Learning Collaboratives.
For more information on this initiative, see our Workforce Development Training webpage.