We made it through another year, and another IHI National Forum. Phew! If you went to Orlando, we hope, like us, your head is still spinning from excitement and ideas.
But the Forum was just one memorable highlight from 2016. There was so much else that happened this year, both at IHI and on campuses around the world, to advance quality and safety skills in the next generation of health care leaders.
Here are the top five highlights from 2016:
- Scaling up and relaunching our massive open online course, Leadership and Organizing for Change. This year, we trained more than 150 students and residents, 40 faculty, and 130 professionals in leadership and community organizing skills. A continuation of the course we launched in 2014 with the IHI Open School Change Agent Network (I-CAN) initiative, we saw higher enrollment this year — including from professionals. Learners completed community-based projects, such as launching a weight-loss program in a rural community, promoting safe sleeping practices for infants, and increasing cervical cancer screening rates. Many of these leaders joined us at the IHI office to learn quality improvement, organizing, and leadership skills in the Student Quality and Organizing Leadership Academy. Interested in leading change in 2017? Our next offering of the course launches in March 2017.
- Overhauling the Open School courses. This year, we revised and improved every one of the courses in the Basic Certificate in Quality and Safety to offer the best learning experience possible in a new interface. In the process, we pared down the Basic Certificate from 16 courses to 13, and updated the course titles and numbering system to help you find the learning you’re looking for more easily. We also created several new courses, including PFC 101: Introduction to Patient-Centered Care, L 101: Introduction to Health Care Leadership, and TA 101: Introduction to the Triple Aim. We’d like to think all our hard work improving the IHI Open School courses paid off this September, when our learners completed more than 100,000 courses in a single month.
- Working with faculty to identify best practices for integrating quality and safety into the curriculum. The IHI Open School started as a disruptive force in health professions education — offering training on quality and safety where there was little in the formal curriculum. But now more and more training programs are making quality and safety a core part of their teaching — and using IHI Open School courses in the curriculum. This year, we surveyed 267 faculty representing 175 institutions that are working on teaching quality and safety. Next year, we’ll launch a faculty guide to integrating quality and safety in the curriculum, based on the best practices we identified through this research.
- Creating a new video series: QI Games. This year, we partnered with some of IHI’s best improvement faculty to offer a new video series teaching some of our most popular games to teach quality improvement skills. They’re designed to help you teach QI in a group, so we hope you’ll put them to good use in your Chapters and classrooms. Each game teaches a different QI skill and includes an instructional video as well as a debrief video, which discusses the main learning points of the game. Check out the activities on: PDSA cycles, variation, defining measures, and systems thinking.
- Breaking a milestone of more than 800 Chapters. Last but not least, this year the IHI Open School hit a milestone with more than 800 Chapters started. According to our annual Chapter Progress Report, these interprofessional groups are working hard to teach students about quality improvement, volunteer their time with community organizations, and to integrate quality and safety into the health care curriculum. Get involved in a group near you using our interactive Chapter map.
The National Forum always gives the IHI Open School community a chance to reflect. It was less than a decade ago at the Forum that Dr. Don Berwick, IHI’s former President and CEO and Senior Fellow, first met with students and faculty to talk about creating an interprofessional online school to teach quality and safety skills. We can’t imagine that they knew then that we’d be changing the way we deliver our online learning and teaching so many learners just eight years later.
To everyone who contributed to this great year, the IHI Open School wants to say: Thank you. We look forward to getting even better next year.
If you would like to support Open School students next year, please consider making a tax-deductible donation.