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Working with experts and partners from around the world, we created hundreds of publications, online courses, blog posts, videos, and WIHI audio programs. Which ones rose to the top for us and are worth your time?
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IHI’s 10 (or so) Picks from 2017

By Mike Briddon | Friday, December 15, 2017
2017-ihi-year-in-review

It’s almost time to turn the calendar to a new year, which means it’s a good opportunity to look back at what we’ve done for the past 12 months.

What free resources did we publish in 2017 that can help IHI’s customers (friends, really) as they start planning for 2018? Which ones stand out in our collective memory?

We asked those two questions at a team meeting last week. And like every year, we had a lot to discuss. Working with experts and partners from around the world, we created hundreds of publications, online courses, blog posts, videos, and WIHI audio programs. We shared innovations, success stories, fail-forward moments, and practical guidance on dozens of topics including improvement, safety, health equity, the Triple Aim, and joy in work. Which ones rose to the top for us and are worth your time?

Here, in no particular order, are IHI’s “10 (or so) picks” from 2017:

  • Achieving Hospital-wide Patient Flow: Thousands of people have downloaded this 54-page white paper, the culmination of approximately two decades of IHI’s research, innovation, and learning about the topic. The publication guides leaders and quality improvement teams through an in-depth examination of a systems view of patient flow, theories for improvement, and high-leverage strategies and interventions to achieve hospital-wide patient flow.
  • Our most popular white paper of the year? That would be the IHI Framework for Improving Joy in Work, a publication focused on a topic that is garnering lots of attention in health care today. This white paper is intended to serve as a guide for health care organizations to engage in a participative process where leaders ask colleagues at all levels of the organization, “What matters to you?” — enabling them to better understand the barriers to joy in work, and co-create meaningful, high-leverage strategies to address these issues.
  • Curious to learn more about joy in work, but prefer the audio experience? Spend a holiday drive (we promise your family will love it) listening to the WIHI podcast, “How to Beat Burnout and Create Joy in Work.” All the guests were great, but we suggest turning up the volume a bit to hear about the unique experience of Julie Mann, an Assistant Director of Midwifery at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. (You can find all the archived WIHIs on iTunes or your favorite podcast player. Come to think of it, while you’re there, it’s worth checking out another popular WIHI from 2017: “Pursuing Health Equity with Curiosity.")
  • Short on time, but still looking for something that will make you change the way you approach your daily work? For that, we’d suggest “What Is Bias? And What Can Medical Professionals Do to Address It?,” a five-minute video with more than 2,000 views. In the video, Anurag Gupta, MPhil, JD, founder and CEO of Be More America, explains implicit or unconscious bias and how health care providers and others can stop it from negatively affecting people.
  • Five picks in, you may be wondering if we forgot quality improvement. We did not! Our Quality Improvement Essentials Toolkit was the most popular piece of content we created this year. By last count, customers have visited the toolkit web page more than 75,000 times. A perfect holiday gift, it includes the tools and templates you need to launch a successful quality improvement project and manage performance improvement.
  • What about safety?! Good question. As you may know, IHI merged with the National Patient Safety Foundation this year and we’re thrilled to be “working together for safer care” with our new colleagues. Three recent safety-focused publications that are worth your time: Optimizing a Business Case for Safe Health Care, Patient Safety in the Home, and A Framework for Safe, Reliable, and Effective Care.
  • IHI ideas and work appeared in outside publications, too. This year, there were lots of choices, but we settled on three: “Breaking the Rules for Better Care” in JAMA, “A Simple Way to Involve Frontline Clinicians in Managing Costs” in Harvard Business Review, and “The Value of Teaching Patients to Administer Their Own Care” in Harvard Business Review. Each article provides a window into some of IHI’s most innovative work from the past year.
  • Speaking of innovation, the IHI Open School is always trying to come up with new ways to teach the basics of improvement and safety to students and professionals around the world. Learners completed more courses this year than ever before, putting the all-time number right near four million. One catalyst? A new Faculty Guide that can help a trainer at any level integrate the content into an educational program.
  • It was a year of successes, but we learned from failures as well. One IHI blog post, one of the most popular of the year, struck a chord with many readers: “What Happens When Health Care Providers Fail One of Their Own?” In the piece, author Rana Awdish, MD, a critical care physician at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, writes, “I felt a responsibility to admit the ways in which my own system had in many ways failed me because, if it was failing me, then it was bound to be failing others." (We feature success stories on the blog, too, like this amazing ongoing work in Brazil.)
  • Lastly, we thought it would be nice to offer something that provides a good summary and a good starting place. Whether you’re new to IHI or have been a part of the family for decades, we think you’ll find something interesting in this roundup of 10 IHI Innovations to Improve Health and Health Care. This curated publication highlights 10 ideas that have emerged from IHI that reshaped how and what we’ve committed ourselves to over the years.

Did one of these pieces make a difference at your organization? Did an article spark a change idea? Did a video get forwarded around the office? If so, we’d love to hear about it.

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