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ISRN Resource List

Following the national recommendations for educating health professionals who will redesign the healthcare system to be Safe, Timely, Effective, Efficient, Equitable, and Patient-centered, ACE and the ISRN have developed resources that can be used for teaching and learning. Topics and content align with modern programs undergraduate, graduate, interprofessional programs. Many of these resources leverage national experts on the topic.

The following is a list of resources that are available through ACE and the ISRN. These resources may be used as supplemental material for courses, lectures, and presentations.


Membership benefits include access to all member-only resources of the ISRN and access to the Improvement Science Research Network as a “research laboratory” for improvement studies. Members are invited to contribute to the pipeline of ISRN Network Studies now in progress, propose their own, and add to the ISRN capacity-building resources as authors.

Please contact the ISRN if you are interested in using any of the resources listed and let us know what else would be helpful.


Essential Competencies for Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing

Report on the national consensus on EBP competencies for basic, intermediate, and advanced level nurses.

Research Collaborative Guide: Building Successful Research Collaboratives for Healthcare Improvement

An evidence-based field guide for investigative teams that are co-creating and collaborating in conducting multi-site research studies; built on the science of human factors engineering (the same evidential base as TeamSTEPPS® and aviation safety programs).

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Summer Institutes on Quality Improvement

The series of conferences includes the Improvement Science Summit (a research methods conference), specialty workshops, and the Summer Institute on EBP.  Speakers are national expert.  Student studies available.

TeamSTEPPS® Master Training Workshop

This is the AHRQ-sponsored 2 day train-the-trainer workshop that was developed in the Department of Defense; the evidential base derives from human factor engineering.  Master Trainers exit with a certificate and an action plan for implementing the fundamentals training in their institution.  Student studies available.

Easy Approaches to Convert Quality Improvement to Research

With the approaches described in this seminar, it becomes clear that for the clinician, there is no hospital too small for conducting improvement research; and for the scientist, there is no research question too big that can’t be answered and supported through a research network. Today, multi-site network studies are a necessity to generate evidence for healthcare improvement and patient safety, but how well do they work? Join the ISRN for a discussion on easing the transition of a project from quality improvement to research.

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Video:  A Decade of ACE-an 8-minute video highlighting major landmarks in the evolution of evidence-based practice to evidence-based improvement to the science of improvement; contains cameos of the HSC president, SON dean and many national experts.

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Evidence-based Practice Readiness Inventory (ERI)

This online survey quantifies the respondent’s confidence in employing the various aspects of EBP.  It shows strong psychometrics in student and clinician populations.  The ERI has been successfully used in tracking student learning outcomes and tracking change in clinician capabilities.

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Annotated Bibliographies:

Frontline Engagement

This annotated bibliography is derived from the protocol for the first Landmark study of the ISRN, "Small Troubles, Adaptive Responses (STAR-2): Frontline Nurse Engagement in Quality Improvement"

Medication Administration Errors

This annotated bibliography is derived from the protocol for the first Landmark study of the ISRN, "Impact of Cognitive Load, Interruptions, and Distractions on Medication Administration Errors"

Team Performance for Patient Safety

This annotated bibliography is derived from the protocol that is being developed for the ISRN landmark study on Team Performance.

Science of Team Science

This annotated bibliography is derived from the extensive literature reporting the background and significance of Team Science in regards to collocated and non-collocated collaborations.

Clinical Microsystems

Contributed by Dr. Deb Kendall-Gallagher, this annotated bibliography was built from a systematic review of the literature.It provides a roadmap for understanding not only the science of clinical microsystems but how microsystem journeys enable frontline staff, managers, and organizational leaders to develop self-awareness of how their respective processes and patterns of behavior contribute or impede high-performance. Links to included in this annotated bibliography are used with express permission from the Trustees of Dartmouth College.

Operating Room Team Performance and Use of Checklists to Prevent Wrong Site Surgery

This annotated bibliography was contributed by ISRN visiting scholar Dr. Sonya Osborne, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, about “Operating Room Team Performance and Use of Checklists to Prevent Wrong Site Surgery.”

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Learning Modules:

  • Essential Elements of Evidence-Based Practice – An Introduction to EBP and the ACE Star Model (also an ISRN learning module)
  • Failing Well: Small and Large Lessons for Individual Survival and Organizational Quality (also an ISRN learning module)
  • Research Ethics and IRB Training
  • Introduction to the ISRN
  • Improvement Science: Theories, Research Design, and Statistics
  • An Introduction to EBP and the ACE Star Model
  • Getting the Most from Research Collaboratives: Applying the Science of Team Science

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This resource provides overview information on select measurement strategies used in quantifying variables from with the general field of improvement science. 



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The web seminar recordings contain audio recording and PPT slides on the topic as well as additional resources offered by the expert presenting the discussion.

The Way Forward: An Introduction to Improvement Science

The first session of the ISRN web seminar series introduced the field of improvement science and showcased the activities of the ISRN as a catalyst for change. This 60-minute event defined improvement science, exploring the overlapping paradigms of improvement science, translational science, and implementation science and explaining the need and context for improvement science research.

Breaking New Ground: Forming Research Collaboratives to Conduct Improvement Studies

This Web Event introduced two upcoming Network Studies – Frontline Engagement in Quality Improvement, and Preventing Medication Errors -- that embody several of the most critical topics in improvement science. The Web Event presented each study’s purpose, research design, research questions, and inclusion/exclusion criteria, along with information regarding how interested individuals can participate in this pioneering research.

Uniting Frontline and Leadership Capacities to Improve Care

This web event discussed the obstacles (or operational failures) that frontline staff encounter from day to day and the “workarounds” they develop as a temporary solution. Also discussed is the role that hospital leadership plays in process improvement and how it should respond to operational failures.

Team Science: Creating Successful Collaborative Teams

This Web event presented the concept and principles of Team Science, key factors for successful collaboration, and how these ideas apply to the work of the ISRN, particularly the ISRN landmark Network Studies.

Improving Our Work IS Our Work: Creating a Climate for Improvement

This web seminar discussed the importance of having systems and structures in place to make improvement, including the development of tools and processes at the macro and microsystem level. Examples of these tools and processes were also highlighted, such as: Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT), VA Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education, Veterans Affairs Nursing Academy (VANA), and the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL).

Quality Improvement vs. Research: Regulatory Issues in Improvement Science

This presentation included discussion of the definition of “research” according to the Code of Federal Regulations and how hospital-based quality improvement fits into this definition.

Addressing the Improvement Research Priorities

This web seminar highlighted progress made toward the ISRN Research Priorities published in June 2010. It described how improvement knowledge is being discovered through studies conducted by national research groups and how ISRN members can collaborate.

Healthcare Transitions and Coordination: Early Readmission, Effectiveness, Economics

This two-part webinar series addressed Coordination and Transitions of Care, an ISRN Research Priority and emerging topic of research, which affects every patient that is hospitalized in our nation’s healthcare system.

Part 1: Transitions in Patient Care

Part 2: Coordination in Care

Easy Approaches to Convert Quality Improvement to Research

This web seminar explores the concept of “no hospital too small, no study to big.”The presenters present an overview of a national network approach to conducting research in healthcare improvement and discuss its effectiveness in generating evidence for healthcare improvement and patient safety.

Improve Healthcare: 5 Helpful Tips from Systems Engineering

The need for dramatic improvement in the healthcare delivery system is urgent. The recent report, “Industrial and Systems Engineering and Health Care: Critical Areas of Research” (AHRQ, 2011) outlines how systems thinking can play an essential role in improving the safety and efficiency of care. This web seminar discusses how healthcare delivery can be improved through the adoption of systems engineering principles.

Case Study Follow up on “Improving Our Work IS Our Work”

This web seminar presented successful case studies in follow up to the most popular web seminar on Improving Our Work IS Our Work: Creating a Climate for Improvement.

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Photo of the Summit


ISRN Quick Facts

AHRQ PBRN Registration

Training Opportunity

TeamSTEPPS® Master Training Workshop
San Antonio, TX

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