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Scientific Symposium

​​​​​​The Scientific Symposium is an all-day event that takes place in conjunction with the IHI National Forum on Monday, December 11, 2017, in Orlando, Florida, USA.
Every year, the Scient​​​ific Symposium attracts the best work in the science of health and health care improvement. We aim to foster dialog and shared learning among participants. The day features keynote speakers, rapid-fire presentations of peer-reviewed papers, interactive methods sessions, and networking.

The 2017 Scientif​ic Symposium will take place at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center located at 6000 W Osceola Pkwy, Kissimmee, FL 34746.

At this event, attendees will:
  • Interact with colleagues and share what has been learned from applying scientific methods to health and health care improvement
  • Discuss challenges in applying and disseminating scientific approaches to health and health care improvement
  • Create a common understanding of how to apply scientific methods to improve health and health care


​Time​ ​Session Description
​7:30 am – 8:00 amRegistration
8:00 am – 8:30 am​Welcome and Overview
8:30 am – 9:30 am​Keynote
- Rocco Perla, President, Health Leads
9:30 am – 9:40 am​ Break and Transition to Rooms
9:40 am – 11:00 am​

Parallel Abstract Presentations Session A

11:00 am – 12:00 pm​

Posters and Poster Tour

​12:00 pm – 12:45 pm


​12:45 pm – 2:00 pm

Method Sessions

Applying Shewhart Principles to Healthcare Data

Gerald J. Langley, Statistician and Consultant, Associates in Process Improvement, and Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)  ​

Academically and Scientifically Credible Quality Improvement: Tips on How to Perform Publishable Projects as Part of Routine Interprofessional Work

Tejal Gandhi, Chief Clinical and Safety Officer, IHI, and Don Goldmann, Chief Medical Officer Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

The Frontiers of Improvement Science

Thomas Woodcock and Yogini Jani, Imperial College London, UK​

The Intersection of Improvement and Implementation Science: Practical Ways Forward

Rohit Ramaswamy, University of North Carolina

​2:00 pm – 2:15 pmBreak and Transition to Rooms
​2:15 pm – 3:35 pmParallel Abstract Presentations Session B
3:35 pm – 3:45 pm​Close and Abstract Awards
​4:30 pm – 5:30 pm Pre-Conference Keynote: Steve Spear, DBA, MS, MS

Latest News

This year's oral and poster presenters have been selected! View the list.

The oral abstracts have been published to the BMJ Open Quality website​​.

Who Should Attend

Individuals interested in applying scientific methods to improvement in health care are encouraged to attend, such as:
  • Improvement, Implementation, or Health Care Delivery Scientists
  • Health and Health Care Professionals
  • Social Scientists
  • Clinical and Health Services Researchers
  • Evaluators
  • Systems Engineers
  • Academics
  • Improvement Advisors
  • Students and scholars seeking to forge a career in quality improvement
  • Other professionals concerned with the rigor and credibility of their improvement work

Continuing Education

In support of improving patient care, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

The Scientific Symposium offers up to 6 credit hours for physicians and pharmacists.

Abstract Submission

Abstract submission for the IHI's Scientific Symposium is now closed. This year, we are collaborating with the BMJ Open Quality and top abstracts selected for the Scientific Symposium may be published in the BMJ with author consent. The deadline for submitting abstracts was Wednesday, September 6, 2017​

BMJ Open Quality _new.png ​

Ideal abstract submissions included results of studies that apply improvement or
implementation methods to improve health or health care at a local, regional, or national scale. These may include analytic, time-series, statistical process control, qualitative, and mixed-method studies. We are also interested in method or measurement development work that aims to advance the field more generally.

Abstracts will be reviewed and discussed at the Scientific Symposium on Monday, December 11, 2017 in Orlando, FL, USA.



  • Regular fee: $400
  • Oral presenters: $320


How does abstract submission work?

We will open abstract submission by adding a link to this page. It closes 11:59 PM ET Wednesday, September 6. No late submissions will be accepted.

Do I have to pay the registration fee to submit?

There is no fee associated with abstract submission, and one does not need to be
enrolled in any IHI offering to submit.

When will I find out if my abstract has been accepted?

Oral presenters and poster presenters will be selected from top abstracts identified by areview panel. All submitters will be notified of their accepted status in October.

How will IHI use the content of my abstract and any supporting materials? Will it
be publicly accessible?

IHI will never share your abstract content, contact information, or supporting documents without your explicit consent. When submitting your abstract, we ask for three kinds of permission:

The first, indicated by accepting our Terms of Use and Terms of Publication, gives IHI permission to do two things. One, to host materials on our website. This does not grant visibility to anyone outside of the Symposium staff. It is a necessary step to authorize IHI to retain the materials for abstract storage, categorization, and review. And two, it authorizes IHI to share only the submitter’s abstract title, and the identified key presenters’ name and organization. This is to make the information part of our Symposium agenda, and all submitters must grant this type of permission.

The second type of permissions are additional permissions which submitters are free to consent to or decline. These permissions concern access to abstract content, and
submitters have the choice to permit IHI to share the key presenter’s email address,
and/or abstract content, and/or subsequent presentation materials with 2016 Scientific Symposium attendees only. The exact language can be found on the abstract submission page.

The third type of permissions are for those who want their abstract to be published in
the BMJ if selected. The author of those selected abstracts must read BMJ’s terms and conditions to determine if they are comfortable with publication. A follow-up email to selected authors will provide additional details as well. Note: Declining publication does not exclude you from being included in the Symposium.

What’s the difference between the Scientific Symposium and the National Forum?

The Scientific Symposium is an annual event held during IHI's National Forum. Many of our National Forum attendees also choose to attend the Scientific Symposium, and vice versa. The Symposium differs in that we focus specifically on the science of health and health care improvement by highlighting research and methods.

Do I need to register for the National Forum to attend the Scientific Symposium?

You are not required to register for the National Forum to attend the Symposium. Attendees may register for the Symposium and the National Forum through the same portal, accessible on the upper-right hand side of this page. If you would like only to attend the Scientific Symposium, $400 is all you are expected to pay. Should you decide to amend your registration after already enrolling for a National Forum-related offering, please email​.

What’s the difference between an IHI storyboard and a poster?

The IHI Annual National Forum uses "storyboards" to share participants' experiences and learning with other National Forum attendees. These storyboards are not used at the Scientific Symposium. The main distinction is that the posters at the Scientific Symposium focus specifically on improvement research and require an abstract submission that follows the following format: Background, objectives, methods, results, conclusions and implications. After submitting an abstract, some are selected for oral presentation and some for poster presentation. You may submit an abstract both for a poster at the Scientific Symposium and for a storyboard at the National Forum. Poster specifications for the Symposium will be distributed to those selected for poster presentations.

What’s the difference between an oral presentation and a poster presentation?

Oral presentations are assigned ten minute presentation slots with five minutes of
questions. Poster presenters discuss their work with Symposium attendees during the poster session.

I am a… (Presenter, Keynote, etc.) How do I select my discount?

If you are an oral presenter, you will need to enroll under the regular rate, and the
discount will be applied by a Symposium Staff member after the enrollment is
confirmed. Additionally, you should have received instructions in your confirmation email about the application of your discount. If you did not receive these instructions, or if you have any questions, please contact

What are the terms behind BMJ publication?

As noted above, the opportunity for publication within the BMJ Open Quality
journal is open to selected abstracts. The authors of those selected abstracts must read the BMJ’s terms and conditions located here to determine if they are comfortable with publication. A follow-up email to selected authors will provided additional details as well. Note: Declining publication does not exclude you from being included in the Symposium.


Please contact or call Linson Naval at 617-301-4925 between the hours of 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM ET. It would be our pleasure to assist you and answer any questions you may have.​​​​​​​​​​​​​