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Year in Review: 9 Things You Might Have Missed

By IHI Open School | Thursday, December 17, 2015

IHI Open School Chapter Congress students quality improvement


It’s December, the Forum is behind us (whew!), and we’re heading into our annual winter break here at IHI.

Every year, the IHI office in Cambridge, MA, USA, closes for a week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. In the spirit of what we call One IHI, we all take a break together, giving everyone a chance to put work aside and return refreshed in the New Year, without an avalanche of unread email.

It’s a great time to reflect back on the year in the student movement for quality and safety. It’s been a big one for the IHI Open School, thanks to the growing community of people who keep our work moving forward. Here are a few of the year’s top highlights, in case you missed them.

  1. Mobilizing 30,000 students and professionals to improve population health — The IHI Open School community took a big leap this year, launching an unprecedented campaign to engage students in improving population health called I-CAN. More than 300 students participated in the Open School’s first social learning course, Leadership and Organizing to Improve Population Health, which spanned several weeks and included live coaching calls to bring learners together. These students applied their skills in real-world projects — preventing texting and driving, creating a diabetes self-management program, and improving health for newborns. The grand finale of the I-CAN initiative was the student-run Pledge-A-Thon, in which Chapters competed to secure the most commitments from their communities to improve health. In total, the I-CAN initiative engaged more than 30,400 people in improving population health.
  2. A massive open online course — This year, IHI partnered with HarvardX to launch our first massive open online course (MOOC) on quality improvement skills. Don Goldmann, MD, IHI Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, Don Berwick, IHI President Emeritus, and David Williams, IHI Executive Director, teach quality improvement methods in PH556X: Practical Improvement Science in Health Care: A Roadmap for Getting Results, a six-week course starting January 20, 2016. It’s a great way to introduce new learners to QI, so we hope you’ll recommend it to colleagues.
  3. A new way to get to know the Open School — If you’re new to quality and safety, where do you start? This year, we heard from students that they needed an introduction to the quality and safety movement and the Open School. As a result, we have a new course called OS 101: Introduction to the Open School. It walks you through the courses, the Chapter network, and how to lead a Chapter. It’s freely available to everyone. Please share widely!
  4. Videos, videos, and more videos — Did you know that YouTube is now the world’s second largest search engine? It’s clear that video is a powerful format that’s here to stay. So, the Open School team spent dozens of hours filming expert interviews on a wide variety of topics to bring you short snippets of learning in an easy-to-watch format. Browse more than 150 clips by topic in our new Video Library.

    Quality and Safety video library IHI Open School
  5. Twenty-eight real-world projects to improve care — This year, Open School learners tested their quality improvement skills in the real world through our hands-on Practicum. In this course, students form teams and submit key documents for review by the IHI Open School’s Faculty Advisor, Dr. James Moses. Some of the projects we’ve featured on our blog this year include screening for social determinants of health, improving depression screening for diabetic patients, reducing unnecessary blood tests, and improving follow-up with sickle cell patients.
  6. Two million course completions and counting — It’s hard to believe that in just seven years, the Open School’s training on quality and safety has spread so far. This year, we hit a milestone: learners have completed 2 million courses.
  7. A custom-made QI game at the IHI National Forum — This year, Open School all-star Dr. Lakshman Swamy served as one of four co-chairs of the IHI National Forum. He and Dr. Chris Worsham, Internal Medicine Resident at Boston Medical Center, also led an exciting, innovative simulation of a quality improvement project — condensed into a few hours at the Chapter Congress. Open School learners tested their skills and teamwork in the “Virtual Practicum,” proposing improvements to reduce the number of mental health patients leaving the hospital before discharge (pictured at top).
  8. Continuous improvement of Open School courses – This year, Open School editors improved QI 103: Measuring for Improvement, QI 106: Mastering PDSA Cycles and Run Charts, PS 100: Introduction to Patient Safety, PS 101: Fundamentals of Patient Safety, and PS 102: Human Factors and Safety. We created new videos, added recent cases, and responded to learner feedback. We’re also really excited about a brand new design for our online courses — you can get a sneak peek in OS 101: Introduction to the Open School. We’ll move all of our courses to this redesigned learning management system next year. We think you’re really going to like it.

    Open School course introduction to student quality
  9. A modest start toward health equity — At IHI, we’re making a concerted effort to understand the implications of our work on health disparities and begun testing changes to improve. One part of this effort was launching TA 102: Improving Health Equity. This overview course is a great place to start if you want to understand why race, geography, and socioeconomic status are such good predictors of health — and how to improve health for those who are most disadvantaged. Read more about how this course came about in this blog post.

What would you like to see the Open School community accomplish next year? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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