"Ask One Question" Challenge

​The idea is simple.

 Ask patients one question: “What can I do to improve your care today?”

At the IHI Open School, we wondered what health care could look like if every student asked this one question? What if every student acted upon the response in some way to advance patient-centered care in the hospitals where they train?


How can I get involved?

IHI Open School members can participate in the activity by asking one patient they encounter that simple question: “What can I do to improve your stay?” You can participate in this activity as an individual or as a Chapter. We want to track how many patients we can reach and the different ways you are working to improve their experience. We invite you to share your responses and actions in this short online submission form.

Please be sure you don't include anything that identifies a patient, caregiver, institution in your response. If you have any questions about the Ask One Question Challenge, please contact our team at openschool@ihi.org.

Here are some examples of patient concerns and student reactions: 

What the patient said ​ What the student did ​
​“I’m thirsty and the doctor wants to stick another needle in my arm to give me fluids. I don’t like drinking water and I can’t drink the juice since I’m diabetic.”  ​He found sugar-free juice for the patient to drink and called the patient’s sister to bring in sugar-free juice for later that day.
“The sun is in my eyes and I’m unable to sleep.” ​She closed the blinds enabling the patient to rest.
“I’m confused; the doctors have started me on loads of new tablets. Please could you explain them to me.”​ ​She explained what each medication was for to the best of her knowledge. When she was uncertain, she asked the pharmacist about these.
​“I’m really worried about going home; I don’t know who to contact about my discharge” ​She talked with the nurse who provided her with a telephone number for the patient to call.


Please share your experience around how your Chapter is incorporating the "Ask One Question Challenge" into your work. Use the comment space below to discuss with the community.
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