Creating High Impact Tools to Improve Clinical Effectiveness

A Custom Course from Ariadne Labs

Creating High Impact Tools to Improve Clinical Effectiveness is a dynamic new course from Ariadne Labs, the premier health systems innovation center. This course will enable your organization to improve quality and safety by creating and using team checklists for better quality and safety. We’re fully prepared to design and deliver this customized, focused training for your organization either on the campus of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, or at your location.

If you are interested in commissioning this program for your organization, please contact Rebecca Moore at 617.432.2207 or

Program Overview

We know that checklists and similar strategies give clinicians a tool that reliably eliminates errors and improves the quality of health care delivery. However, if checklists are poorly designed or only partially implemented, they become ineffective and inadequate, and most importantly, only provide the illusion of improving quality and safety. Ariadne’s program will help clinical and organizational leaders understand when a checklist is the appropriate tool for a given problem, what the checklist should contain, and most importantly, how it should be structured, implemented, and supported.

During the program, participants will have the opportunity to work on safety checklists, explore strategies and roadblocks for effective implementation, and brainstorm how checklists should be improved. Tailored lectures and group assignments will help participants focus on key checklist projects within your organization.

Program Objectives

This 3 day program for up to 40 participants will consist of lectures, panel discussions, and practical, experiential exercises. Learning objectives can include the following, and be specifically tailored for your organization:

  • Distinguish between routine and emergency uses for checklists, and particularly learn to identify critical moments of care with the potential for high impact as a result of the correct design and implementation.
  • Develop the principles for your organization to follow that will keep the tool efficient and easy to use.
  • Develop the ability to design clear graphic presentations to make checklists easily understandable and useful in a clinical setting to create support for widespread implementation.
  • Demonstrate the skills required for building checklists, testing, and iterating/implementing improvements through the principles and application of rapid cycle testing and basic low cost simulation.
  • Plan strategies to develop management and organizational support and advocacy for checklist implementation
  • Identify internal audiences and stakeholders in the culture of care who will need customized training approaches to support successful implementation.
  • Learn how to shift your organization from experiencing cognitive aids as a weakness to the expectation that clinicians will maximize the performance of themselves and their teams with the use checklists.
  • Learn how to create scenarios using simple techniques to simulate/practice the use of the checklists in the initial introduction of the tools and in sustaining their use.

This program will qualify for CME, CEUs.

Organizations That Benefit

Organizations that will most benefit from this program include hospitals, clinics, health care associations, and hospital systems. We encourage teams focused on developing safety checklists to attend, including Chief Medical Officers, Nurse Quality Officers, and Hospital Quality Officers across every specialty.

William Berry, MD, MPA, MPH

Bill Berry is the Associate Director of Ariadne Associate Director Labs, the Senior Advisor to the Executive Director, and the Chief Implementation Officer ad interim, formerly Chief Medical Officer. Bill is also a Surgical Consultant to the Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions and serves as the Boston Program Director of the “Safe Surgery Saves Lives” initiative with the World Health Organization’s Patient Safety Program. For the last eight years, Bill has been a faculty member for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Prior to these roles, Bill spent seventeen years in practice as a cardiac surgeon. Bill earned his MD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and achieved his board certification in general surgery, thoracic surgery, and surgical critical care. He earned his MPA from Harvard Kennedy School of Government and his MPH from Harvard School of Public Health.

Alexander Hannenberg, MD

Alexander Hannenberg is a faculty member in the Safe Surgery Program at Ariadne Labs. His work has focused on the implementation of Crisis Checklists for critical event management in the operating room and beyond. He is also a founding Board Member of Lifebox USA. He is Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology at Tufts University School of Medicine. He is a past president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and now serves as its Chief Quality Officer. Representing ASA, he led the development of physician quality measures in anesthesiology and critical care for the AMA Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement. He serves on the national Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety. Alex received his AB from Vassar College and his MD from Tufts University, followed by residency training in anesthesiology at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston.

Key Faculty

Atul Gawande, MD, MPH

Atul Gawande is Executive Director of Ariadne Labs. He is also a surgeon, professor, writer, and public health researcher. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and Samuel O. Their Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Atul is also Chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit that focuses on reducing surgical deaths globally.

Alex Haynes, MD, MPH

Alex Haynes is Director for the Safe Surgery Program at Ariadne Labs and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on improving surgical care delivery through improved measurement and implementation of quality improvement initiatives. In collaboration with colleagues from the Harvard Business School, he is running a study to investigate the links between hospital management practices and ability to implement large scale quality improvement projects, funded with a research grant from the Rx Foundation. He is also a practicing surgical oncologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.