Atlas Initiative

Tools that Guide Your Implementation

Why do some projects to improve health care quality dazzle in their effectiveness while others fall flat? New tools from the Atlas Initiative will support health institutions in successfully implementing quality improvement initiatives.

The Atlas Initiative, a venture by Ariadne Labs with support from the Peterson Center on Healthcare, is developing tools to guide health care facilities and health systems through successful implementation of quality improvement projects. Health care stakeholders can be more effective when they have a better understanding of how to select, adapt, and support health care innovations across diverse environments. 

The Need for Atlas

Health systems everywhere continually look for ways to improve patient care. But when implementing solutions for health care’s biggest challenges, we know one size does not fit all. A solution that drives dazzling outcomes in one location can completely fail in a different setting. Why is that?

  • Health systems’ culture and operations may vary, making solutions effective in one place but not others.   
  • It can be difficult to determine which factors will lead to successful implementation.   

When health systems are able to first assess and address key factors, such as implementation skills, leadership commitment, staff motivation, and competing priorities, they are more likely to be successful when implementing a quality improvement program. This is where the Atlas Initiative comes in.

The Atlas Toolkit 

Ariadne Labs is currently developing and testing a suite of evidence-informed tools that will enable hospitals and health systems to assess facility-specific implementation factors. The toolkit will include a set of surveys and supporting materials that aim to improve implementation success of health care solutions. Any facility that has defined a problem affecting patient care and identified a potential solution to address the problem can use this toolkit.

Atlas Initiative tools will be administered electronically via an emailed link to participants. Ariadne Labs provides aggregate results back to users. The tools can be used at the department and unit level as well as throughout an organization. These resources will  help to assess whether a site is ready to implement a solution, determine the amount of resources needed to support implementation, and inform decisions about implementation strategies and intervention adaptations to align with the site’s strengths and weaknesses. 

 The Atlas Initiative Toolkit will contain:

The Foundation Survey

Pre-implementation survey to assess key contextual factors that impact implementation of a health care intervention.

The Launch Survey

Post-launch survey to assess the need for modifications to the implementation strategy.

The Progress Survey

“Pulse check” survey used during an ongoing implementation to track aspects of the implementation that could jeopardize success.

The Data Repository

Another key Atlas feature is a shared data repository that will help facilities identify the contextual factors that most influence implementation success. Now under construction, this database will be designed to identify how these factors vary by types of interventions and health care settings. Ariadne Labs and its partners will input data into the repository, and facilities may use this information to guide decision making.