Priority Matrix

By the time you’ve completed your RCA, you will have identified many root causes of the targeted disparity. How will you choose which ones to tackle? A priority matrix (insert as hyperlink to pm template) is a tool to help you identify which causes are most important and most feasible to address in your health care setting.

It’s helpful to start with the most specific root causes identified through your RCA, because these are often the key drivers of the disparity. In the Fishbone Diagram, for example, these would be the smallest bones in your diagram.

For each cause, ask yourself the following question and place the answer in the appropriate box:

  • How feasible is it to tackle this issue?
  • How important is it to tackle this issue?

Because you’ve already gathered a well-informed and diverse team to complete your RCA, you can use the same team to respond to these priority questions and come to consensus on the answers.

There are formal QI methods to help you evaluate what is “feasible” and what is “important,” which you may already be familiar with. They often cover topics such as staff time, cost, and the reach of the intervention.

Assessing Feasibility

[ADD INTRO SENTENCE] To help you assess feasibility, we’ve put together the following list of key organizational resources. (hyperlink) Consider these resources when deciding if it’s feasible to tackle a specific issue.

Assessing Importance

Sometimes it’s best to go on “gut feeling” if your team has consensus that a particular issue is really important to address right now. Choosing the “low-hanging fruit”—one of the simpler and more feasible options—will help build momentum and avoid staff burnout in the long run.

Remember that showing a “quick win” to organizational leadership will garner support for your existing equity activities and new ones in the future. At the same time, it’s important to manage expectations. Be clear with staff and leadership that you are going for the easy stuff first, to test the waters and build momentum.