In addition to an alternative payment model designed to support a transformed delivery system, a sustainability plan is needed to ensure changes stick. According to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, quality improvement (QI) teams are 70 percent more likely to lose their gains and revert to pre-project levels without a written sustain plan that ensures positive changes are maintained after the QI project concludes.
The CARE Award developed a four-step approach for teams to recognize and analyze factors necessary for sustaining improvement from the interventions. This process helped participating teams develop a sustain plan for their hospitals and encouraged them to focus on maintaining strengths and fill in process gaps that would slow future progress. The adoption of these plans is in progress. Additional information on sustaining the CARE Award gains will be available in the coming months.