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Scientific Symposium


​The Scientific Symposium is an all-day event that takes place during the Pre-Conference of the​ IHI National Forum on Monday, December 6, 2020, in Orlando, Florida, USA.
It 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.
Attend the Scientific Symposium to:
  • 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
​​2019 Method Session​s

​​Implementation Science and Improvement Science: Shall the Twain Meet? 
  • Rohit Ramaswamy
    Director, UNC/RTI Consortium for Implementation Science & Associate Director, Research Innovation and Global Solutions University of North Carolina​
  • Brian Mittman, Research Scientist, Health Services Research and Implementation Science, Kaiser Permanente Southern California 
  • Lisa Hirschhorn, Professor of Medical Social Science and Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Medical School
  • Gareth Parry, Senior Scientist, Institute for Healthcare Improvement 
  • Laura Damschroder, Research Health Science Specialist, HSR&D at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System 

This interactive session will bring together implementation researchers and quality improvers to engage in a conversation of how the two fields relate to each other. Implementation and improvement researchers will share their experiences and then engage participants in a World Café approach to consider some of the major challenges in both fields, including challenges in measurement, what level of rigor we need and adapting implementation strategies during initiatives. 

  • Describe how implementation and improvement research overlap and differ.
  • Explain common challenges in undertaking implementation and improvement research.
  • Identify high priority areas for implementation and improvement researchers to collaborate.
Practical Approaches to Addressing Overmeasurement in Healthcare
  • Lucy Savitz; Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Northwest and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii​
  • Michael A. Posencheg, M.D.
    Associate Chief Medical Officer, Value Improvement, Penn Medicine ; 
    Associate Chief, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, Division of Neonatology, CHOP​

  • Don Goldmann, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer Emeritus, Institute for Healthcare Improvement & Clinical Professor
    of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School​
This session will review how to reduce measurement burden by measuring what matters for QI/safety, including assessment of improvement projects, adherence to best practices, and quality control. Panelists will describe the current state of measurement for value-based payment, accreditation, and regulation, and outline strategies to address the multiplicity and  redundancy of imposed measures.

  • Describe the current state of measurement for value-based payment, accreditation and regulation. 
  • Develop approaches to deal with multiplicity and redundancy of imposed measures 
  • Develop approaches to reducing overmeasurement by focusing on “measuring what matters” for QI and safety, including the elimination of redundant measures, using temporary measures to access QI/safety projects and retiring measures to QCwhen stable improvement has been achieved.
Use SQUIRE Publication Guidelines to help you publish your QI work

  • Gregory Ogrinc, Associate Professor, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

  • David P. Stevens, Editor Emeritus, BMJ Quality and Safety, Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement​
This interactive session is anchored in the principal that your unique healthcare improvement work is incomplete until it is published. Publication is how you spread your innovative work broadly for the benefit of other patients and health systems. The session offers practical applications of the SQUIRE 2.0 Publication Guidelines ( to get started or to strengthen your paper. In this regard, the presenters explore how to approach the description of a clear rationale for your initiative, the explanation of the central role of context in your success, and the evidence that underlies your improvement outcomes. They also emphasize the importance of writing for your specific reader, and how this can help focus your writing process as well as provide you guidance for selecting the most appropriate journal for your publication. 

  • Employ SQUIRE 2.0 Publication guidelines to craft a strong, interesting and valid manuscript
  • Identify a strategy for you on your intended reader
  • Describe how to align SQUIRE and your identified reader to facilitate your journal submission process.  
Research that Resonates
  • ​Mark Dessauer, Vice-President, Spitfire Strategies

This session will provide an overview of how research can be packaged and disseminated for a more strategic impact. This research methods session will help participants consider the “4 Ps” (purpose, people, package and planning) when planning research that requires outreach to engage the right people.  The session will teach participants the best practices for sharing research for maximum impact: who participants need to engage to bolster credibility; how to package research for maximum effort and plan an appropriate rollout; and how to prioritize communication among numerous research projects. Participants would bring an upcoming research project to develop a plan during the session. 


  • Identify key influences and champions to build the credibility of your research. 
  • Assess your communication capacity to improve the planning and dissemination of research.
  • Develop a high impact dissemination and communications plan related to your research. 

2019 Keynote Speaker: Dr. Lisa Hirschhorn

Hirschhorn-Headshot-200x200.jpg​​​Lisa Hirschhorn, MD
Professor of Medical Social Science and Psychiatry and Behavioral Health;
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Medical School;
Senior Director for Implementation and Improvement Science;
Last Mile Health
Dr. Lisa Hirschhorn is Professor of Medical Social Science and Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Medical School and Senior Director for Implementation and Improvement Science at Last Mile Health.
Her current work includes using implementation research to measure and improve quality and effectiveness of care in the US and countries in Africa including primary care and maternal and child health. She is co-PI on a BMGF-funded project to studying LMIC’s who successfully dropped U5M, NIH-funded capacity building grant for patient-centered outcomes research in Tanzania and as implementation scientist on grants for a CHW-delivered intervention to improve hypertension treatment in Nigeria and work to measure quality of CHW work in Liberia.

2019 Agenda-at-a-Glance

Monday, December 9, 2019​​ ​​
7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
8:00 AM – 8:30 AM​
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

9:30 AM – 9:40 AM​
9:40 AM – 11:10 AM​

11:10 AM – 12:00 PM​
​12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
​1:00 PM – 2:15 PM

​2:15 PM – 2:25 PM
​2:25 PM – 3:55 PM

4:00 PM​ – 4:30 PM​

4:30 PM​ – 5:30​​ PM
4:30 PM​ – 5:30​​ PM

Welcome and Overview

Keynote Presentation:
Lisa Hirschhorn, MD

Break and Transition to Rooms

Parallel Abstract Presentations
Session A

Posters and Poster Tour


Method Sessions​:
  • Implementation Science and Improvement Science: Shall the Twain Meet?
  • Practical Approaches to Addressing Overmeasurement in Healthcare 
  • Use SQUIRE Publication Guidelines to help you publish your QI work
  • Research that Resonates​

Break and Transition to Rooms

Parrallel Abstract Presentations
Session B

Close and Travel to Marriott World Center​

Pre-Conference Welcome Reception

Pre-Conference Keynote​:

Abby Wambach
Soccer Champion,
Olympic Gold Medalist &
World Cup Champion,
Activist for Gender Equality

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

CE Credits

The 2019 edition of the Scientific Symposium offered a maximum of 6 credits for physicians, and pharmacists. The 2020 edition of this program will be under evaluation for CE credits in the fall.


Regular Fee

Oral Presenters
Poster Presenter