By Avi Mehra, MD
After a busy few months, on Wednesday, February 26, Brighton & Sussex University (BSUH), in Brighton, United Kingdom — a fantastic, vibrant city with an extremely talented pool of health care students and professionals — joined the IHI Open School global community with the launch of its new Chapter.
The new Chapter is the realization of our long-held desire to form one large, collaborative educational community to facilitate multi-disciplinary discourse and education in patient safety, quality improvement, health care innovation, management, and leadership; we felt IHI was the perfect vehicle to share our mission.
After months of hard work recruiting a core multi-disciplinary leadership team whilst achieving full support and buy-in from all educational, clinical, and managerial leads across all disciplines, we were at last able to bring together an audience of students, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, allied health professionals, senior managers, and the trust CEO for our first Chapter meeting.
The launch evening started with a brief networking session over tea and coffee before we eagerly introduced new Chapter members to the IHI and BSUH Open School Chapter vision. We then put our talk into action with our first workshop, focused on the issue of “Accident and Emergency (A&E) capacity and waiting times.”
For the workshop, we assigned participants into four groups, ensuring each group had members from a variety of different disciplines. We gave each group the following three-part task:
- Brainstorm the causes for a recent national increase in A&E waiting times.
- Analyze one cause in more detail.
- Suggest a solution based on the analysis.
With ambient music playing in the background, over 30 minutes the teams engaged in some “friendly competition,” guided by a team facilitator within each group, and finishing with each team pitching their analysis and solution to the rest of the room.
The outcome was fantastic, with huge variety among the groups, and well thought-out analyses accompanied by innovative solutions. All participants were congratulated on their excellent teamwork and given a short refreshment break to continue their discussions.
We closed proceedings by consolidating all the ideas, and highlighting some key IHI methodology: Through the use of driver diagrams we showed how teams could measure and achieve a high-level improvement goal.
We finished by highlighting the excellent online IHI resources, upcoming opportunities, and the outline of our next monthly workshop — which will take place on March 27. This next session is titled “The Challenge of Change,” led by the BSUH Management sub-chapter, and it will explore practical and theoretical elements of change whilst outlining the vision for the upcoming modernization of Brighton Hospitals, via the “3Ts” program (i.e., “Teaching, Trauma, and Tertiary”).
All this is just the beginning. We now hope to build on this momentum and develop the Chapter further to increase engagement across all disciplines, build a collaborative educational community, and ultimately provide individuals with the knowledge and tools to bring about effective, sustainable improvement throughout health care.
I would like to thank Dr. Christin Henein, Nick Dragolea, Mariana Williams, Stella Hristova, Ali Suren, Lucy Elliot, Jake Scott, Dr. David Bloomfield, Dr. Andy Carson-Stevens, Nicola Davey, and all the BSUH IHI Open School Chapter members and advisors for helping launch an IHI Open School Chapter in Brighton, UK.