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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 10, 2018, 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 2018 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

​Attendee Booklet for the Scientific Symposium

At this link​, you can find an expanded onsite guide for the 2018 Scientific Symposium with the agenda, presenter biographies, and a list of all poster presenters. ​​​

Keynote Speaker - Kevin G. Volpp, MD, PhD

Volpp - Headshot circle.jpgThe Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Scientific Symposium, proudly announces its keynote speaker: Kevin G. Volpp, MD, PhD

Dr. Volpp is the founding Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE), Division Chief of Health Policy for the Department of Medical Ethics and Policy, and the Founders President’s Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine and Health Care Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Get tickets now to see his keynote address, Nudging Behavior to Improve Health, exploring the impact behavioral economics has on health care outcomes. To learn more on this topic, enjoy his his co-authored piece in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). You can also follow Dr. Volpp on Twitter @kevin_volpp.


​Time​ ​Session Description
​7:30 AM – 8:00 AMRegistration
8:00 AM – 8:30 AM​Welcome and Overview
8:30 AM – 9:30 AMKeynote
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

  • Method Session 1: Using a Racial Equity Lens on Data to Inform Quality Improvement: Performance Management and Community Health – Examples from Massachusetts | Miami


    • Sabrina Selk, Director of the Office of Health Equity, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

    • Susan Manning, Medical Epidemiologist, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

  • Method Session 2: Measuring Health and Well-Being at Scale: Scientific and Practical Issues from 100 Million Healthier Lives| Sun 1-3
    • Matt Stiefel, Senior Director, Center for Population Health, Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute
    • Carly Riley, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati
    • Brita Roy, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Director of Population Health, Yale University

  • Method Session 3: Qualitative Research for Healthcare Improvement | Sun D


    • Donna Luff, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Method Session 4:  Using Communications to Accelerate Quality Improvement | Tallahassee
    • Jo Ann Endo, Communications Specialist, Institute for Healthcare Improvement


    • Frits Bredal, Head of Communications, Danish Society for Patient Safety

​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 PMClose and Abstract Awards
​4:30 pm – 5:30 pm Pre-Conference Keynote: ZDoggMD

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. 


  • Regular fee: $50​0
  • Oral presenters: $320
  • Poster presenter: $400  


How does abstract submission work?​

We will open abstract submission by adding a link to this page.

​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 a review 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 two 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. 

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, $500 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


Please contact 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.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​