​IHI Open School Change Agent Network (I-CAN) Learning Activities

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When Lauren Mason was in college, she started to feel a soreness in her face. Then, it became a “sharp and knife-like” pain. She visited the university clinic, a specialist at a hospital, and then the emergency room with pain “off the scale.” None of these visits improved the problem. Finally, her dad made an appointment for her at the dentist, who quickly identified a massive abscess in her molar. The problem had started with a simple cracked tooth.
Lauren’s health suffered from low-quality clinical care — a delayed diagnosis, fragmented care, and treatment for the wrong condition. Sadly, it’s not unusual. In 2001, the Institute of Medicine reported that “between the health care that we have and the care we could have lies not just a gap, but a chasm.” When individuals don’t get the clinical care they need, the population as a whole is less healthy. And disparities in quality of care are a big cause of this problem. According to the Commonwealth Fund, if low-income people in the US had received the same quality of care in 2013 as high-income people received, as many as 86,000 people wouldn’t have died prematurely.


Explore our list of IHI Open School resources and activities below to start learning more about issues facing communities as they relate to clinical care. This list is by no means comprehensive, there are many things we can and should do to improve clinical care, but this should get you started on the road to improving.

To become a change agent and lead change, click here to learn more about previous and ongoing I-CAN projects.

​Topic Ac​tivities & Resources Potential I-CAN Projects
Quality of Care
  • Reduce patient wait times and improve patient flow at local student run refugee clinic. - Trinity University, San Antonio
  • Use The Conversation Project Starter Kit to mobilize community members and improve patient-provider and patient-family communication about end of life care. - Boston College
  • Contribute to local health system measurement of:
    • Preventable hospital stays, or the hospitalization rate for ambulatory-care sensitive conditions per 1,000 Medicare enrollees
    • Diabetic monitoring measures the percentage of diabetic Medicare enrollees that receive HbA1c screening
    • Mammography screening is the percentage of female Medicare enrollees age 67-69 having at least one mammogram over a two-year period
​Cultural Competency
  • ​Collaborate across the system on workforce training to increase the number of health providers who are culturally competent.
  • Collaborate across the system on workforce training to increase the number of clinical providers who can deliver high-quality HIV care—especially for rural and underserved populations.
Mental Health
  • Build community leadership network and collaboratively design and distribute matreials promoting prevention and early intervention in mental health. - University of South Florida
Maternal and Infant Health
  • ​Partner with local hospitals to distribute Tummy Time guidelines and increase patient-provider communication about plagiocephaly and torticollis. - University of South Carolina




​Finished the activities and ready to do more? Here are five things you can do to improve the health of your community:
  1. Share your pledge to improve population health.
  2. Make your support visible: Share this with colleagues and friends through your networks and conversations, post on social media (@IHIOpenSchool), and invite others to pledge to take action with us.
  3. Lead and become an agent for change by conducting a project to improve care access through the I-CAN course.
  4. Amplify efforts locally by joining an existing I-CAN project or by connecting with your community. Contact us to link up!