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How to Integrate Quality and Safety into Your School’s Curriculum

By IHI Open School | Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Dr. Ryan Miller, a former leader of the South Dakota IHI Open School Chapter, recently published a study on interprofessional education through the IHI Open School. His Chapter’s work led to a longitudinal curriculum requiring the IHI Open School courses at four South Dakota colleges. Below, Dr. Miller offers some tips for integrating quality and safety into the curriculum. Read more about how he did it in the full article.
  1. Identify key stakeholders in the health professions schools with the guidance of your faculty advisor and motivated department heads.
  2. Align the curriculum development with health professions schools’ long-term goals. (For us, the time was right with a new overall medical curriculum with a new, longitudinal "three-pillar system" that included professionalism, diversity, and quality, with the IHI Open School curriculum fitting in nicely with the quality pillar.) 
  3. Remember that students are the best advocates for change. Students have a powerful voice because they are the ones experiencing the curriculum. And faculty tend to listen to students who have novel ideas and are passionate about them.
  4. Link the curriculum development to the IHI Open School Chapter itself. For us, the Chapter was the connection between the health systems and several health professions schools that were a part of the Open School chapter.  
  5. See what other schools are doing and contact them for more information.
  6. Think about publishing your work from the beginning. Is there something you can measure while implementing the curriculum? Think about what might be helpful for the larger IHI Open School community to learn from. 
  7. Just start with something. We used IHI Open School courses in small groups within the internal medicine clerkship and made some improvements before rolling it out in the larger curriculum.
The experience of developing quality and safety curriculum using the IHI Open School was both professionally enriching and personally rewarding. I would encourage any IHI Open School Chapter Leader to make it a primary Chapter goal to get involved in curriculum development. You may be surprised by what comes out of it. 

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