Connect with the IHI Open School

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Chapter Network Overview

​​​​​​​​​​​"When I became involved with the IHI Open School, I found a source of thoughtful and energized students and faculty that not only wanted to make a difference, but knew how. I learned so much about how to make things better here, there, and anywhere."
- Lakshman Swamy, MD, Former IHI Open School Chapter Leader at Wright State University and Chief Medical Resident, Boston Medical Center

Hear what other Chapter Leaders have said about their experience with the IHI Open School below:


​Introduction to Open School Chapters

What is an Open School Chapter?​
What do Open School Chapters do?​
Who is part of the Chapter Network?​​
What are the benefits to​ starting or joining an I​​H​I Open School Chapter? ​
How do I g​et involved?

What is an Open School Chapter?

An IHI Open School Chapter is a face-to-face, interprofessional group at an institution. Each one ​is unique, bringing students from different health professions programs together through a shared interest in learning about quality improvement and advancing the health of their patients and communities. Chapters exist on university campuses or in health care organizations, creating a forum for like-minded students and residents to interact and help each other gain skills to improve care. Chapters have opportunities to learn, build their leadership capacity, network with peers, connect with engaged and supportive faculty, and accomplish scholarly activities such as publishing and presenting work.

Please note: Starting a Chapter is free, but it does not give you free access to the courses. If you are a student, resident, or university faculty, or a user from one of the Least Developed Countries​, IHI Open School online courses are free whether you belong to a Chapter or not. However, IHI charges a modest subscription fee for health professionals who would like to complete the IHI Open School courses, regardless of participation in a Chapter. Learn more about course access and professional subscriptions here.​

What do Open School Chapters do?

Given the spread of Chapters around the world, approaches vary by context, institutional needs, and members' interest. Here are some examples of what Chapters do:

Take our short, free overview course, OS 101: Introduction to the IHI Open School: Join the Movement to Improve Health & Health Care, to learn how to get the most out of the IHI Open School's online courses and interprofessional Chapters.

Who is part of the Chapter Network?​

Typically, Chapters are based on university campuses, but they also form at hospitals, health systems, and other health care organizations. Some health care delivery sites have started Chapters to provide an informal opportunity to train staff, engage new professionals in improvement, and teach students rotating through their organizations, too.

Chapter Leaders
Anyone willing to help form and lead the Chapter can be the Chapter Leader. Students or residents usually lead Chapters, although faculty and deans can also serve in the role. Chapter Leaders: 

  • Recruit students and faculty to join the Chapter.
  • Facilitate events and activities to provide learning and networking opportunities for peers. 
  • Lead and set up local improvement initiatives and community partnerships.
  • Connect with other Chapter Leaders around the world to share ideas and best practices. 
  • Advocate for patient safety and quality topics to be included in their formal curriculum. 

Faculty Advisors
Faculty Advisors are faculty members, attendings​, professors, deans, employers, or anyone willing to advise and support the Chapter. If possible, the Faculty Advisor should have a permanent position at the organization to promote continuity within the Chapter. Faculty Advisors:​

  • Advocate for the Chapter as an organization officially recognized by the institution’s administration. To support this aim, offer advice about - and ways to obtain - funding for Chapter activities. 
  • Participate or assist in planning for Chapter activities as needed - for example, facilitate discussions about videos or case studies. 
  • Help the Chapter Leader ensure continuity of the Chapter over time (i.e., transfer of Chapter leadership from year to year). 
  • Identify local opportunities for students to work on patient safety and quality improvement projects and initiatives. 

Global Chapter Leaders
IHI Open School Global Chapter Leaders are a small, dedicated team of former and current Chapter Leaders who coach Chapters throughout their development and growth. Meet the team here.

What are the benefits to starting or joining an IHI Open School Chapter?​​​

If you start or join an existing Chapter, here are a few opportunities that you can look forward to:

  • Boosting your skills in patient safety and quality improvement in health care within an interdisciplinary setting.
  • Joining an interprofessional and global community of leaders committed to advancing quality and safety.
  • Applying knowledge and skills to lead change through guided project work.
  • Connecting with engaged and supportive faculty. 
  • Publishing work on IHI’s website and potentially in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Being among the first to hear about new courses and content from the IHI Open School.

How do I get involved?​

Start by checking if an IHI Open School Chapter already exists at your institution through our interactive Chapter Map. If so, you can connect directly with members through the map to learn more about their efforts and how you can get involved.

If there's not an existing Chapter at your institution, you can follow the instructions to start your own on the same page. ​​​​​​​