Training Courses in Improvement Skills


Stanford Medicine offers two in-depth introductory courses for faculty, trainees, and staff wishing to learn more about improvement work. The Clinical Effectiveness Leadership Training (CELT) program and the Realizing Improvement Through Team Empowerment (RITE) courses are each offered twice per year. For RITE (and for CELT until Fall 2023), multidisciplinary teams apply with a problem in their practice area that they are passionate about making better for patients and families. Starting in Fall 2023, CELT is being offered as an optional supplementary course for individuals who are currently participating in RITE or who have completed RITE in the past, with an emphasis on leadership training.

Both CELT and RITE train learners to use Lean methodology to make local improvements in practice. This standardized approach includes:

  • Clearly stating a problem statement
  • Explaining the background that makes others feel the pain of the problem
  • Setting a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebound goal
  • Measuring the current state
  • Analysis the contributors to the problem
  • Identifying the key drivers that if addressed would improve the current state
  • Linking interventions to those key drivers
  • Establishing a plan to sustain improvement


Most RITE projects emerge from the Improvement Capability Development Program annual project proposals and all projects align with operational priorities. Neurology faculty members, trainees, and staff interested in learning more about CELT or RITE may contact  Carl Gold or Laurice Yang.


In September 2020, the Stanford Medicine Center for Improvement launched the Advanced Course for Improvement Science (ACIS). ACIS is open to Stanford faculty and staff who have graduated from the CELT course. Unlike CELT and RITE, individuals—and not teams—apply to participate in ACIS. This intensive course includes approximately 160 hours of course work on topics ranging from design thinking to project management to adaptive leadership. There is extensive reading required outside of the course work. Teams of participants meet weekly to discuss these readings and their quality improvement projects. Carl Gold and Laurice Yang had the privilege of participating in the first cohort of ACIS in September 2020 - April 2021.

Neurology CELT & RITE teams

CELT team led by Dr. Chitra Venkatasubramanian focused on improving patient access by filling unexpectedly open appointment slots.