The age of embracing the status quo or the “if it ain’t broke,don’t fix it” philosophy in medical practice is long gone. Thegoal of quality improvement in the medical field is one we canall appreciate: to optimize the delivery of health care and useadvanced knowledge and technology to improve patient care.Many industries, such as automobile and engineering, alreadyapply the scientific method to quality improvement efforts, andthe time has come for medical practices to follow suit.

The Improvement Guide: A Practical Approach to EnhancingOrganizational Performance1 describes a model of improvementthat can be used in a variety of settings, including medicalpractices. Their model is based on cycles of “trial-and-learning,”emphasizing the importance of testing change on a small scaleand observing its effects.