Action Planning Tool for the AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture

Before You Begin

Before you begin action planning, you will need to secure leadership support and form an action planning team.

Secure Leadership Support

Strong leadership commitment at all levels is essential to the success of an initiative and may need to be your first step in the action planning process. A good strategy is to seek leadership support before starting action planning and to confirm that support again during and after action plan development. The management style of your senior leaders and the scope of your plans will help determine when it is best to seek their support.

In addition to senior leaders, you will need the support of managers or supervisors who will be involved in the action plan. It is also important to identify influential individuals who may not be in formal leadership positions but whose influence could make the difference between the success or failure of your action plan. Also think about informal leaders in clinical and nonclinical positions.

Form an Action Planning Team

Form an action planning team to help you develop an action plan and implement and evaluate the action plan. Consider the following suggestions when identifying potential team members:

  • Recruit a multidisciplinary team with a mix of roles, expertise, skills, and perspectives. Key skills might include data analysis, quality improvement, human resources, or project management. You may already have an existing committee or group whose members can serve as the core of your action planning team. Remember to include clinicians.
  • Ask a senior leader to join the team and lend support in a visible and ongoing way. This is a great way to engage such leaders in the process and ensure their input and buy-in.
  • Include team members whose work will be directly affected by the planned initiatives. They will bring an important stakeholder perspective to the development and implementation of the action plan.

Hold a kickoff meeting to review team members' roles and responsibilities. Keep senior leadership informed of progress. Think about ways to promote teamwork and encourage all members to speak up and share their opinions. Also, keep in mind that team membership is often dynamic—you may want to add members as needed.

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Page last reviewed December 2015
Page originally created December 2015
Internet Citation: Before You Begin. Content last reviewed December 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/patientsafetyculture/planningtool2.html