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Toolkit for Building Implementation-Ready Care Standards

This toolkit is a joint publication of the Nursing Executive Center and the Physician Executive Council, two divisions of the Advisory Board.

addressing the needs of rising-risk patients

Many health care leaders recognize that reducing unwarranted care variation is critical to improving quality and unlocking cost savings. Yet they are finding it difficult to translate new care standards into daily practice.

One reason why care standards are not making it from paper into practice is that few organizations provide clear guidance about what a care standard should include. As a result, care standards vary widely depending on the preferences and experience of the teams that create them. When every care standard looks different, frontline clinicians wind up feeling overwhelmed.

This toolkit provides design teams with a recommended template for developing consistent and comprehensive care standards that are actionable at the front line.

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Inconsistent materials make implementation difficult

Design teams often work independently, in different clinical areas or facilities across the organization. Without clear guidance, they often produce different outputs when creating care standards. While all teams will likely include clinical specifications, one team may identify performance measures to monitor care standard compliance, another team may create education materials, and a third team may do neither.

This variation is problematic because each team is reinventing the wheel for each new care standard, and frontline caregivers do not receive consistent materials to help them adopt new standards.


Five tools to help design teams create implementation-ready care standards

This toolkit serves as a template for design teams. Using it, they will have a roadmap to create consistent care standards that frontline stakeholders will be able to understand and act upon. Design teams across the organization should use the five tools below to develop care standards with implementation in mind.

Tool 1: Summarize the Clinical Evidence (pg. 7)

Customizable Template

Tool 2: Outline the New Workflow (pg. 13)

Customizable Template

Mission Health’s Workflow Map Example (pages 15-17)

Emory’s Workflow Map Example (page 19)

Atrium’s Workflow Map Example

Tool 3: Create an Easy-to-Digest Overview (pg. 21)

Customizable Template

Tool 4: Define How to Measure Impact (pg. 25)

Customizable Template

Tool 5: Connect the Dots to the Organization’s CVR Mission (pg. 29)

Customizable Template

Additional Materials:

Review example implementation toolkits from Banner Health and University Hospitals to see how they plan for implementation while creating care standards. Download University Hospital’s Introductory Guide to learn how they prepare design teams and frontline clinicians for rollout.

Want more on Care Variation Reduction?

Resources from the Nursing Executive Center:

Resources from the Physician Executive Council:

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