Dr. Thomas Kelley, Chief Quality Officer at Orlando Health’s South Seminole Hospital, wanted to entice his physicians and other staff to complete the IHI Open School courses. He knew it was important for them to learn about patient safety, quality improvement, and leadership — but he also knew that their schedules were demanding.
Dr. Kelley’s solution? The 2013 South Seminole IHI Open School Challenge.
“I opened up the Open School courses to everyone on staff,” says Kelley. “They’re available to dieticians, physical therapists, and anyone who has a role in patient care.”
Kelley is one of two quality officers in the Orlando Health system who use the Open School to educate staff about improvement and safety. Kelley’s colleague, Dr. Mark Swanson, Chief Quality Officer for Orlando Health Physician Enterprise, also uses the modules with his residents; together, they join more than 400 organizations now using the courses for training.
Kelley’s South Seminole IHI Open School Challenge is a 19-week competition that encourages staff to complete all of the online courses.
“I want everyone to speak the same language,” says Kelley.
The Challenge started in July and will end at the end of the calendar year. The rules include a few important details:
- You must be a team member or a physician with privileges at Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital.
- You must complete courses outside of work hours.
- You must obtain the IHI Open School Basic Certificate in Quality & Safety (which includes 16 online courses) by December 31, 2013.
To encourage participation among staff, Kelley is offering a prize to the individual who completes the courses first, and a prize to the unit with the most participants.
“One technician in our ICU department [already] completed all of the courses in three weeks,” says Kelley. “He said they provided a lot of concepts that he wasn’t familiar with.”
Kelley, who learned about the Open School during the Patient Safety Executive Development program at IHI in Cambridge two years ago, added that many physicians and other staff have enjoyed taking the courses because of the online format, the case studies, and the evidence-based concepts.
“People have been extremely receptive of the messages in the education,” says Kelley.
At the end of the Challenge, Kelley will host the staff who have earned their Certificate at a special graduation ceremony at his house.
Swanson, meanwhile, is making it mandatory for the residents at his hospital to complete three of the patient safety courses and three of the quality improvement courses. He learned about the Open School after attending a recent IHI National Forum, and is pleased with the education they provide to future physicians in the organization.
“It raises their conscientiousness,” says Swanson. “And gives them the basic tools and vocabulary to start patient safety and quality initiatives using simple rapid cycle improvement methodology that is used routinely around the world now.”
To get buy-in from the management team to use the modules for training, Swanson presented the Open School courses as “a great vehicle for physicians and professional staff in building a foundation focused around patient safety and quality improvement.”
Some program directors ask residents to complete the courses over a 3–6 month period, Swanson says, while others have residents finish the modules at the start of their program.
“In the future, we will continue to make the Open School courses mandatory for our residents, as well as promote the courses to all of our employees,” says Swanson.