photo of four panellists speaking

‘Breaking the Rules for Better Care’ is an international initiative, originally developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Leadership Alliance, which aims to help organizations find ways to improve care for both patients and healthcare workers. This annual event was initiated in 2016 as a way to identify health care “rules” that get in the way of the care experience.  With the goal of trying to understand how we can work together and create a better healthcare experience for our patients and ourselves, we ask the question, “If you could break one rule to provide a better patient or provider experience, what would it be and why?” 

Last year, the Emergency Department, championed by Dr. Louise Rang, had such a successful event, they inspired participation by three more clinical areas this year. In February, the Emergency Department, the Operating Room, the Oncology Department, and the Ophthalmology Department each participated in a ‘Breaking the Rules for Better Care’ campaign.  We received over 200 suggestions across the Departments!! 

The Program Management Teams now have hundreds of suggestions on how to improve care from those ‘on the ground’ workers. The next step is for each department to categorize the suggestions into:

  • Rules that need clarity. These may be myths, habits or rules that simply require education on their rationale
  • Rules that need redesign. These may need to be revised or abandoned altogether
  • Rules that need advocacy. These are rules in place because of regulations/policies and would require advocacy beyond the organization to change

The most important part will then be working with the organization to change some of those rules and communicate back to everyone. This messaging will include what can and will be changed, what can’t be changed and why not, as well as what requires more advocacy and time to make a positive change. By engaging everyone on the ground, we can strive to eliminate the barriers to a better patient and provider experience. 

Watch the video featuring Dr. Louise Rang now!