Background: Multisite facilitated quality improvement (QI) projects, called collaborative Breakthrough Series (BTS), have been shown to improve care, but it is also important to evaluate the lasting effects and spread of changes of BTSs. A project focused on fall and injury-related prevention started in Spring 2001; after the project's end, support was provided through e-mail and periodic conference calls.
Methods: One year after project completion, team contacts were interviewed to determine if they had maintained gains or made further improvements.
Results: For the 34 (of 37 teams) interviewed, 82.4% reported they had stayed together as a team; 97.1%, that they continued to collect data; 93.9%, that they had maintained gains; 82.4%, that they had spread changes to new locations; and 85.3%, that they had begun to work on new topics. High team performance at one year correlated with first-meeting team characteristics Leadership Support (r = .456, p = .019) and Prior Experience with Quality Improvement and Teamwork (r = .393, p = .047) and with follow-up team characteristics Leadership Support (r = .614, p < .001), Teamwork Skills (r = .377, p = .033), and Skills Gained from the Project (r = .410, p = .020).
Conclusions: Leadership support, experience with quality improvement and teamwork, teamwork skills, and skills gained from the project were correlated with teams' abilities to achieve and maintain success.