IHI charges a modest subscription fee
for health professionals who would like to complete the IHI Open School courses. (Scholarships
may be available based on need.)
The courses are completely free for students, medical residents, university faculty who teach courses, and users from the Least Developed Countries
. All other IHI Open School resources – including the Chapter Network – are free for all.
Managing Health Care Operations
Patient- and Family-Centered Care
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of patient safety. You’ll learn the different types of errors, why errors occur, and how they can be prevented. You’ll understand effective and ineffective strategies for responding to errors when they do occur – especially with the goal of reducing, and ultimately eliminating, the chance that they’ll occur again. You’ll learn about the different kinds of error-reporting systems, and the effectiveness of each. Finally, you’ll learn about the difference between error and harm – and why reducing harm is the appropriate target of efforts to improve safety.
PS 102: Human Factors and Safety
This course is an introduction to the field of “human factors”: how to incorporate knowledge of human behavior, especially human frailty, in the design of safe systems. You’ll explore case studies to analyze the human factors issues involved in health care situations. And you’ll learn how to use human factors principles to design safer systems of care – including the most effective strategies to prevent errors and mitigate their effects. Finally, you’ll learn how technology can reduce errors – even as, in some cases, it can introduce new opportunities for errors.
PS 103: Teamwork and Communication
No matter how safe we make the design of systems in which we work, there is no substitute for effective teamwork and communication. In this course, you’ll learn what makes an effective team. Through case studies from health care and elsewhere, you’ll analyze the effects of teamwork and communication on safety. You’ll learn essential communication tools, such as briefings, SBAR, and the use of critical language. Finally, you’ll learn how to use these tools when they are most essential—at transitions in care, when errors are most likely to occur.
Serious errors occur at the best hospitals and clinics – despite the best efforts of talented and dedicated providers. As the Institute of Medicine (IOM) declared in 2001, in words that still ring true, “Between the health care we have and the care we could have lies not just a gap, but a chasm.” This course launches you on your journey to becoming a health care change agent. First, you’ll get a sense of the scope of the problem, from an up-close and personal look at a wrong-site surgery at a major academic hospital… to a high-level picture of the current quality of care in the US and around the world. Then you’ll begin to work on a solution to the problem, using the roadmap for change offered by the Institute of Medicine’s six aims for improvement – and a theory of how to change systems.
QI 102: The Model for Improvement: Your Engine for Change
This course will teach you how to use the Model for Improvement to improve everything from your tennis game to your hospital’s infection rate. You’ll learn the basic steps in any improvement project: setting an aim, forming a team, selecting measures, developing ideas for changes, testing changes using Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles, and measuring to determine if the changes you are testing are leading to improvement.
QI 103: Measuring for Improvement
Measurement is essential in any improvement work: It tells you if the changes you are testing are leading to improvement. But measurement for improvement is different from measurement for research. In this course, you’ll learn how to use three basic kinds of measures: outcome, process, and balancing measures. You’ll learn how to collect, display, and interpret data – to ensure that measurement accelerates the pace of change, rather than slowing it down.
When you think of a leader, what comes to mind? A president? A CEO? No matter what your position or formal title is, you can be a leader. In this course, you’ll zoom in on a hospital that’s having some trouble with infection control. As you grapple with this case, you’ll learn that leadership isn’t a position of authority—it’s an action. You’ll learn how to persuade different types of people and build enough unity to move forward. Finally, you’ll learn how to measure your effectiveness as a leader. Written reflections and discussions are key to this course—don’t skip them! Periodically you’ll be directed to a discussion board where you can post your answers and discuss them with other students.
QI 104: Putting It All Together