The Open School network is growing — and our Regional Leaders are here to support your Chapter whether you’re a start-up or well-established.
What do Regional Leaders
do? They’re long-time members of the Open School who can help Chapters on a one-to-one basis. Try them out when you have questions about planning events, finding resources in the Open School, connecting with other Chapters in your region, or brainstorming activities for your Chapter.
To highlight the expertise of our Regional Leaders, we’re bringing you the "Meet a Regional Leader" series on this blog. So far, we’ve heard from Jo Inge Myhre, MD, who supports Continental Europe from Oslo, Norway, and Andy Carson-Stevens, MD, who supports the UK and Ireland. Last week, we met Valerie Pracilio, who is one of two Regional Leaders in the Northeast. Today, we're featuring her counterpart Dr. Ross Hilliard,
an attending physician in General Internal Medicine at Brown University. Say hello to Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OS: Why did you go
into health care?
Ross: I was always interested in the sciences, and was
fascinated when I first learned about cardiac physiology. After exploring basic science research, I
realized that I was most fulfilled when working with people, especially if I
had the ability to help them. This is the most important element of my
profession: the ability to build relationships and help people, especially in
the most difficult periods of their lives.
OS: Why does quality
improvement matter to you?
Ross: Almost all health professionals are witnesses to a
severe adverse patient event at some point in their career. I witnessed mine
early in my medical school training. An otherwise healthy patient in his 40s was
admitted for pneumonia, and should have been placed on a medication to prevent blood
clots, but at that point, the system relied on the physician to remember to
order it. The patient died from a completely preventable fatal pulmonary
embolism — a blood clot in the lungs. That experience has proven to be a
centering experience for me, and has driven my work with IHI and the Open
School, as well as within my own hospital system. Health professionals are
human beings working in an imperfect system, and I feel we all have an
obligation to improve these systems so we are able to provide the care we would
all like to give every day. As I moved through my training and into my career,
I realized I have an opportunity to have meaningful impact on our system
through informatics, and this is now a core focus of mine.
OS: What was your
best moment with the Open School community?
Ross: As we were starting the IHI Open School Chapter at the
University of South Carolina, the Chapter hosted an event to introduce students
of multiple health professions to a local health system’s efforts to improve
the patient flow in their Emergency Department. Over the course of the evening,
students worked together to identify unnecessary steps, needless delays, and
opportunities for improvement. Listening
to their ideas and findings was profound, and remains a reminder to me of the
power that students and trainees have to make sweeping, positive change in
health care systems.
OS: Tell us something
that most people don’t know about you.
Ross: I performed in musical theater growing up, and I
continue to enjoy it as a member of the audience now.
OS: What one piece of
advice would you give a new Chapter?
Ross: Don’t underestimate the value that can be gained by
reaching out to students and practitioners in different health professions. An
interdisciplinary group allows your Chapter’s efforts to expand rapidly. Also, use the tools shared by the IHI Open
School; You can learn a great deal by hearing from Chapters around the country
and the globe. I’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage Chapters to reach out to
their Regional Leaders for support — we’re here to help!