Heather Walker photo


By: Heather Walker, Learning Experience Designer

In July 2011 HealthTeamWorks® began training Quality Improvement Coaches, Practice Facilitators, and Practice Managers in methods of successful practice facilitation using principles of Quality Improvement. Since then, we have hosted over 200 participants from healthcare practices and systems from around the country.

Our goal is to create a learning environment in which facilitators learn new tools such as creating strong teams with effective leadership, building consensus, getting to the root cause of a problem, and managing resistance among quality improvement team members and practice staff. Students are also given the opportunity to practice what they have learned before returning to their daily lives. This is done through a combination of didactic presentation, role playing, immediate practice of tools, and sharing by the facilitator and participants of their experiences, both positive and challenging.

This past August, HealthTeamWorks® held our Facilitating Quality Improvement (formerly Performance Improvement Facilitator 101 (PF101)) training in Denver. Over three days, eleven participants from four different organizations learned facilitation techniques, quality improvement tools, and how to drive process improvement through the use of data. The course was facilitated by Jaclyn King, MSW of HealthTeamWorks® with support from Cindi Terra of Physician Health Partners.

Throughout the three days of training, Jaclyn demonstrated the role of a facilitator through group activities where everyone learned from others and games that reinforced learning.  Games included small groups building a tower out of pasta and marshmallows to understand how a Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle works, and a race to complete the alphabet with terms that have been learned throughout the training. Participants also had the opportunity to witness a Quality Improvement team meeting in real time, thanks to our partnership with Physician Health Partners, which is unique to HealthTeamWorks®’ Quality Improvement training.

Participants were asked to complete an evaluation of the training at the conclusion of the event. The evaluation included a reaction component, along with a pre-post knowledge assessment and questions about the participants’ intention to use the tools that were introduced.  Reaction to the course was overwhelmingly positive with more than one person expressing that they found skills and tools practice in a safe environment the best part of the training. There was also an overall increase in participant knowledge of 94%.  We look forward to following up with participants in the future to glean what they have applied from the training and how their attendance has improved their interaction with quality improvement teams and practices.


“I would definitely return to any workshop Jaclyn is facilitating! Great facilitator!!! I learned so much!!! Super knowledgeable! Loved all the specific examples she was able to give. Really enjoyed the class and felt you really cared about everyone walking away with new and improved skills. Thank you!”