Students present their work at the IHI Open School Chapter Congress.
Whew. The IHI Open School team is back in our Cambridge
office after our biggest event of the year — the National Forum on Quality
Improvement in Health Care.
Last week, more than 5,000 health leaders descended one of the
world’s largest Marriott hotels, in Orlando, Florida, to teach and learn from
each other. We heard from writer and surgeon Atul Gawande, MD; Good Morning
America host and cancer survivor Robin Roberts; and Don Berwick, MD. For a few
days, IHI staff abandoned our day jobs and donned our blue IHI polo shirts to answer
attendees’ myriad questions and help them find their sessions.
Now that we’re back to our normal routines, those invigorating
days in Orlando seem like a dream. But the issues we heard about are real. The
Forum reminded us of all the work we health care improvers still have ahead of
us. So let’s get to it! Here are five takeaways and action steps from the 26th
health care is critical, but we can’t stop there. The IHI Open School,
along with IHI, aims to create a culture of health. At the IHI Open School
Chapter Congress, Dr. Don Berwick laid out a challenge for Open School students:
Take part in the next phase of the Open
School’s Improvement Change Agent Network (I-CAN) movement. We’re offering
a new, eight-week course on leadership and community organizing that guides
students to take action in their communities. Learn
more and apply here.
- “And” is
the new “or.” Instead of choosing between improving quality or reducing
costs, creating joy for patients or for staff, or thinking about health care or
health, we can and must do both. IHI
CEO Maureen Bisognano and Executive Vice President Derek Feeley illustrated
this approach with a joint keynote to kick off the Forum.
are amazing improvers! This year, students and trainees made up one out of
every 10 Forum attendees, and they presented 123 storyboards, the largest
number ever. Check out
the great student work on the virtual storyboard tour here.
are people. Robin Roberts, a host of Good Morning America who survived
breast cancer and a rare blood disorder, shared intimate moments from her
experience as a patient. What mattered
to her was finding a human connection with a team of caregivers. She felt
restored by the hospital custodian who looked after her and the doctor who
whispered a prayer under his surgical mask as he performed a procedure. How can
you build relationships with your patients?
Berwick is back. In a rousing closing keynote, Dr. Berwick described the
injustices he saw while he was away from IHI on the campaign trail for governor
of Massachusetts and called for health care providers to broaden their view of
health. Why does our medical system spare no expense to save the life of a
gunshot victims, but not invest in the job training or counseling required to
save them from the bullet in the first place? Dr. Berwick laid out three action
steps: 1) Reduce health care costs, so we can afford proven prevention
programs. 2) Broaden our engagement to address issues like mass incarceration
that are destroying the health of communities. 3) Vote.
As an organization dedicated to improvement, IHI works to
make each year’s Forum better than the last. What did you take away from your
Forum experience, and how can we better serve you next year? Leave your
thoughts in the comments.