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Working with experts and partners from around the world, we created more than 300 publications, online courses, blog posts, videos, and WIHI audio programs.
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IHI’s 10 Picks from 2016

By Mike Briddon | Friday, December 16, 2016
Best of IHI

Year-end “best of” lists are always challenging to compile. It’s like picking your favorite movie or choosing the best holiday dessert — you don't want to forget anything. 

What stands out in IHI staff’s memories from 2016?

Working with experts and partners from around the world, we created more than 300 publications, online courses, blog posts, videos, and WIHI audio programs. We shared innovations, success stories, and practical guidance on myriad topics, including improvement, safety, health equity, and joy in work. Some you may remember, and some you may have missed. All, we believe, are valuable to improving health and health care around the world.

Here, in no particular order, are IHI’s “10 picks” from the last year. 

  1. Achieving Health Equity: A Guide for Health Care Organizations: Starting off the list is one of our most popular White Papers, a topic IHI approached with passion and energy this year. More than 12,000 readers have viewed this comprehensive document, which includes a five-point framework, guidance for measuring health equity, a case study, and a self-assessment tool. We also created a video series — featuring Harvard professor David R. Williams and IHI President Emeritus and Senior Fellow Don Berwick — and produced a thought-provoking WIHI on equity.
  2. The Open School Courses Get an Overhaul: The IHI Open School has introduced quality and safety to thousands of students and professionals around the world. In fact, more than 400,000 learners have now completed nearly 4 million online courses since the Open School launch in 2008. This year, many of those learners experienced an updated learning platform, new courses, and more multimedia. We also launched a new, streamlined Basic Certificate and continued to add to our growing video library.
  3. Civility Is Everyone’s Responsibility: IHI President and CEO Derek Feeley shared those words in IHI’s most popular blog post in the first half of 2016. “If we see our colleagues and peers treating others — or being treated — without civility, it’s our duty to call that out,” Feeley writes. “It’s our responsibility to raise that issue, and to comfort and support those who are on the receiving end.” Feeley shared the same sentiments as an expert faculty member in the third year of IHI’s Leadership Alliance. One more presidential post worth noting: IHI President Emerita Maureen Bisognano penned the most popular post in the second half of the year, “So-Called ‘Flow Failures’ Are Disrespectful to Patients.”
  4. The Employer-Led Health Care Revolution. Harvard Business Review included this article, co-authored by IHI Executive Director Lindsay Martin, in its publication, HBR 10 Must Reads for 2017. The article discusses the innovative role that computer technology company Intel played in the health of their employees, and lays out a structure for other employers to follow suit. If you can’t access the HBR piece, read a related blog post on ihi.org.
  5. IHI Launches Its First MOOC: In collaboration with HarvardX, IHI offered its first massive open online course (MOOC) — PH556X: Practical Improvement Science in Healthcare: A Roadmap for Getting Results. Several IHI faculty members joined Don Goldmann, IHI’s Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, to teach more than 11,000 learners from 152 countries about improvement. One of the best stories from the course: A class of high school students in Wisconsin took the MOOC and then taught the concepts to sixth-graders in their community. If you missed the first offering, you have another chance to take the MOOC this January.
  6. Addressing the Opioid Crisis in the United States. The morbidity and mortality from opioid misuse, abuse, and overdose continued to rise in the United States this year. The IHI Innovation team researched best practices for pain management and the roles that health care, communities, and individuals all play in the opioid crisis. The result was an IHI Innovation Report that discusses why efforts to reduce prescription opioid misuse have been ineffective and proposes a systems approach at the community level to address the crisis. The Health Affairs Blog published a related post, including a valuable table that highlights key players and actions.
  7. Improving Patient Experience: What’s Working, What’s Not. Now in its eighth year, WIHI filled the airwaves again this year with ideas, strategies, and stories about improving health care. One of the most memorable shows aired in October, with IHI Faculty and Patient Advisor Martha Hayward. Other great WIHI shows in 2016 included “Five Practical Strategies for Managing Successful Improvement Projects” and “Joy in Work: An Antidote to Today’s Burnout in Health Care.” (For more on joy in work, one of the most popular shows this year, take a peek at this Healthcare Executive article about IHI’s work in this area.)
  8. Building a Culture of Improvement at East London NHS Foundation Trust: ELFT in the United Kingdom provides mental health and community services to a diverse and largely low-income population. In the past few years, this report explains, ELFT has significantly reduced incidents of inpatient violence, medication errors, waiting times for treatment in the community, and improved staff satisfaction and engagement. How? By creating a culture of continuous improvement. A short video featuring Associate Clinical Director Andrew Cruickshank highlights the important role transparency played in the work.
  9. Sustaining Improvement. This IHI White Paper presents a framework that health care organizations can use to sustain improvements in the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of patient care. The key to sustaining improvement is to focus on the daily work of frontline managers, supported by a high-performance management system that prescribes standard tasks and responsibilities for managers at all levels of the organization. A companion piece in Harvard Business Review and a short video featuring co-author Kedar Mate provide bite-sized pieces of the 35-page paper.
  10. Era 3 for Medicine and Health Care. In his keynote presentation at IHI’s National Forum last December, Don Berwick introduced the concept of three eras in health care. Era 1 represents the roots of the medical profession: a beneficent and self-regulating profession. In era 2, which represents much of today’s current health care environment, measurement and “rewards and punishments” tend to dominate. In this JAMA article, Berwick presents nine changes he believes, combined, will shape a third era driven by trusting relationships, transparency, improvement science, and civility. This short video provides a snapshot of the nine changes.


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