This Week at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement            October 20, 2014

Improving Safety by Accentuating the Positive

When visitors come to IHI, they’re greeted with these words displayed behind the reception desk: “We will improve the lives of patients, the health of communities, and the joy of the health care workforce.” Ensuring “joy in work” has been both a core value and a strategic focus for IHI throughout its history. And it isn’t easy – improving patient safety, for example, requires, in part, acknowledging that our systems have harmed patients. There is, however, another side to the safety story. In a new post to the IHI blog, IHI Fellowship Director and Content Manager for Patient Safety, Joelle Baehrend, writes about how highlighting success stories and emphasizing the positive can build momentum and improve outcomes. Baehrend points to a recent article in BMJ Quality & Safety that explores the value of focusing on “positive deviance.”

Don Berwick on The "Music" of Coordinated Care

As improvers, we’re often looking for signals of system failure. But finding them requires knowing what systems look like (or sound like) when they function as intended. In a new video resource from the IHI Open School, IHI President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Don Berwick, tells the story of seeing a four-year-old boy with acute asthma. Berwick thought he’d have to send the boy to the emergency department. But a symphony of providers — a home health nurse, a pharmacist, a pediatrician, and the boy’s mother — worked together seamlessly and without delay to get him the treatment he needed. The system depended on subject matter knowledge, technology, improvement science, experimentation, communication, and teamwork to create the best outcome for the patient. “That was a child who went home well and not to an emergency room, frightened and at high cost,” Berwick says.

Better Care and Value for Joint Replacement: WIHI, October 23

We’re getting our hips and knees replaced in record numbers these days. Public and private payers have begun targeting joint replacement for bundled payments and reimbursement tied to the quality of care. Health care providers who perform a lot of joint replacements are already preparing to meet the challenges of increased scrutiny. They’ve realized that there are multiple ways to improve the care experience for patients and save everyone money. On the next WIHI (Thursday, October 23, 2-3pm ET) we have some terrific innovations and “a-ha” discoveries to discuss. Robert Kaplan from the Harvard Business School is going to explain Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing (TDABC), a powerful way to capture and analyze every step and cost of the joint replacement process, and, as it turns out, of other common surgeries and procedures. Also joining the conversation are leaders and participants from the IHI Joint Replacement Learning Community, which is leveraging TDABC to improve value in hip and knee replacements. We hope you’ll join us!

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IHI Focus Area Spotlight

Improvement Capability: Improvement Project Roadmap

Person- and Family-Centered Care: “It’s Different for Everyone”: How a Doctor’s Words Affect Us

Patient Safety: Improving Patient Safety by Improving Health Literacy

Quality, Cost, and Value: Parents Choose Cheaper Procedure When Given Price Information

Triple Aim for Populations: Study Demonstrates Benefits of Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration



We asked some presenters at this year's 26th Annual National Forum to create some quick video clips to describe their sessions (use the interactive session description tool to learn more about these and other National Forum sessions) 



October is Health Literacy Month and in a new blog post, IHI Executive Director, Frank Federico (above), describes how providers can improve their communication with patients to help improve the safety and reliability of care


Applications are being accepted for The Mongan Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Policy, which prepares physicians for leadership roles in transforming health care delivery systems for vulnerable populations (watch this video with former fellows)

Where's IHI this week?

IHI President and CEO, Maureen Bisognano, is in Pennsylvania this week to speak at the Allegheny Health Network Health Care Innovation Forum.

Who's at IHI this week?

IHI is hosting its partners from the Danish Society for Patient Safety this week for a two-day strategy meeting.

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Getting Results at Scale
February 19-20 in 
Orlando, FL

Perfecting Emergency Department Operations
April 28-29 in Cambridge, MA

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