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IHI’s Ten Picks from 2014

By Kimberly Mitchell | Friday, December 19, 2014

Over the course of a year, most of us couldn’t even begin to count how many articles we’ve read, videos we’ve watched, or audio programs we’ve listened to. Here at IHI, where a big part of our mission is “all teach, all learn” and sharing improvement content, choosing to highlight just ten things from 2014 is almost impossible. But, we did it. Here, humbly, and in no particular order, are some of our top picks of material that taught us and moved us, and that we think will continue to resonate in 2015.

An Illustrated Look at Quality Improvement in Health Care
How does he do that? We often ask ourselves this as we watch videos in which Dr. Mike Evans unpacks and cleverly draws and illustrates complex ideas about improving health and health care. Our latest favorite from Mike Evans is one he worked on with IHI to introduce basic quality improvement concepts. An Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, Dr. Evans has become well known in health care circles for his fast-paced videos that have attracted millions of views on YouTube.

Flipping Health Care
We really like the energy and possibilities that fuel the notion of “flipping the classroom.” Education also has a thing or two to teach and inspire fundamental changes and reversals in health care that can speed up the journey to the Triple Aim. Here are a trio of articles: “flipping health care,” “flipping primary care,” and the “flipped patient.”

Highly Adoptable Improvement
Change initiatives that don’t add to the workload and have high perceived value are more likely to be adopted, cause less workplace burnout, and achieve the intended outcomes. That’s the hypothesis behind “highly adoptable improvement,” a model developed by Dr. Chris Hayes, 2013-14 Canadian Harkness/IHI Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice, during his fellowship year at IHI. The Highly Adoptable Improvement website provides tools to help your organization assess and create more sustainably adoptable improvement initiatives.

A Soul Doctor and a Jazz Singer
Lots of people are afraid to ask a terminally ill patient, “What, for you, is a good day?” But, when asked the question, amazing answers can come forward. In this video, the curiosity of Dr. Lachlan Forrow, MD, advisor to The Conversation Project, leads us right to the joy and heart of patient and singer, Dolly Baker. Dolly says that, for her, a good day is one where she is able to sing. The Conversation Project, in partnership with IHI, has developed a Conversation Starter Kit, including a pediatric version, to help you have conversations with loved ones about end-of-life wishes.

Comparing Lean and Quality Improvement — and More Capability-Building Resources
IHI offers lots of key resources for helping your team and your organization build their skills and capability to improve, but here are just three of our top picks for this year: Comparing Lean and Quality Improvement (IHI White Paper); QI 102: The Model for Improvement: Your Engine for Change (IHI Open School online course); and Science of Improvement on a Whiteboard (videos).

Eliminating Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (eMTCT): A Six-Country Collaboration in Africa
Using QI methods, six countries in Africa have formed a learning network to test changes and rapidly scale up effective eMTCT and nutrition programs. The network regularly engages in cross-country learning and sharing of best practices and challenges. A brief storyboard tells the whole story about this work that is part of the Partnership for HIV-Free Survival

The Stuff That Is Killing Us
What if there were national goals in the US for zero inequity and health disparities? What impact would they have? What would be the work necessary to achieve these ambitions? In a post to RWJF's Human Capital Blog, Ron Wyatt, MD, MHA, former IHI Fellow and current Medical Director in the Division of Healthcare Improvement at The Joint Commission, urges us to consider the improvement possibilities if we make an even deeper commitment to better health and health outcomes for minority communities.

Empathy for Patients: Afraid and Vulnerable
Empathy is not the same thing as sympathy. We can all work on expressing more empathy. Everyone needs it at times, and one way that caregivers discover the important distinction between empathy and sympathy is when they, themselves become patients. Check out this powerful video series from the Cleveland Clinic on Empathy.

Populations, Population Health, and the Evolution of Population Management: Making Sense of the Terminology in US Health Care Today
In the years since IHI first began developing the Triple Aim concept, the words "Triple Aim" and the terms that are part of its lexicon have become widely used, but often incorrectly. Some of the terminology — such as “population,” “population health,” and “population management” — needs ongoing clarification. That’s why Ninon Lewis, Director of IHI's Triple Aim for Populations focus area, wrote this blog post, which you might want to keep handy. See also: A Primer on Defining the Triple Aim.

There’s one more…

100 Million Healthier Lives by 2020
An unprecedented coalition of leaders — called the Guiding Coalition for 100 Million Healthier Lives — has committed to improving health by joining efforts around an audacious shared goal: 100 million people living healthier lives by 2020. This initiative is aimed at making a demonstrable improvement in the health of communities on a global scale, starting in the US.


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