See how your peers surpassed challenges using improvement methods. Choose from 175+ sessions to attend, organized through 10 topics that are vital to the improvement of care.

​The Leadership topic track is dedicated to encouraging new ideas, behaviors, and actions for the challenges of today.​


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Conference Sessions
Dece​m​ber 10–11​

An Improvement Culture That Outlasts Your Leaders

A06, B06​
Why do some improvement efforts end when a leader moves on?

This session will explore how leaders fail to create systems that ensure the continuation of an improvement culture beyond their tenure. Eevidenced-based approaches to building sustainable processes will be shared, with a focus on avoiding common pitfalls.
Managing the Risks of Power in Shaping Culture
A08, B08​
Neuroscience and psychological studies have shown that power differentials frequently evoke ways of communicating, even in skilled and well-meaning professionals, that can be inadvertently disruptive to shaping desired culture. Risks are especially high in environments of stress and complexity that are ubiquitous in health care.

This session will be beneficial for participants whether or not they feel they have formal positional or professional authority. Participants will receive a set of articles and a tool with high-leverage principles as well as specific examples of actions that help to manage the risks of power.
Board to Bedside: Driving Board Engagement
How can an organization engage senior leaders and board members in safety and quality? Over the past several years, the Children's National Medical Center's board has visited care delivery sites, with rewards for both leadership and frontline staff. 

Themes included high reliability, patient experience, and community benefit, with visits to inpatient units, outpatient satellites, the emergency department, and more. New dynamics have inspired staff, changed the conversation at board meetings, and increased its Culture of Safety score.
Activating Rising Leaders to Improve Care​
Students and residents across health professions are building a movement across campuses, communities, and clinical settings to tackle pressing challenges. To achieve systems change, organizations can prioritize efforts to engage rising leaders and build their quality improvement skills.

Based on key learnings from more than a decade of leadership of large-scale mobilization efforts, the IHI Open School and select network leaders will share a roadmap for building community and sustained engagement in quality improvement.
Chief Quality Officer: Leading Quality across a System
D03, E03​
Quality continues to grow as a strategic priority for health care organizations, and the role of Chief Quality Officer is emerging to lead it. What does it takes to lead quality at a system level?

Join the faculty of the IHI CQO Professional Development Program to learn five strategies for meeting the ongoing challenge of leading quality across a system.
Developing an Integrated Quality Management System
D16, E16​
Twenty years ago, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) set out to become the leader in improving child health. The organization has progressed through developing improvement capability, high reliability, microsystem leadership, distributed expertise, partnership with the community to address disparities, and now a culture of empowerment.

This session will share lessons from CCHMC and the IHI Quality Management System Framework.
High-Impact Leadership Behaviors in Daily Practice
D18, E18​
Leading and managing a health care delivery organization is often like drinking from a fire hose. Leaders need new skills and ways to focus their efforts to deliver results.

Providence St. Joseph Health is committed to developing leadership systems to shape culture and deliver Triple Aim results for populations. In this session, it will explore strategies to develop leadership capability as well as how the IHI High-Impact Leadership Behaviors have been used across a complex integrated delivery system.
Am I Making the Right Decision on What to Do?
A05, B05
Leaders at every level are confronted with specific issues, performance concerns, and pressure to fix them. You are expected to know how to act, but are you making the right decision? In this session, learn how improvement science can support leaders to discover if an issue is due to identifiable reasons or is the result of a process to improve, and what actions to take to support enhancing performance in each case.
Board to Bedside: Driving Board Engagement
How can an organization engage senior leaders and board members in safety and quality? Over the past several years, our board has visited care delivery sites, with rewards for both leadership and frontline staff. Themes included high reliability, patient experience, and community benefit, with visits to inpatient units, outpatient satellites, the emergency department, and more. New dynamics have inspired staff, changed the conversation at board meetings, and increased our Culture of Safety score.

​​Pre-Conference Workshops & Excursions
Dece​m​ber 8–9​

Sunday Half-Day Workshop
Leading, Managing, and Coaching to Excellence
Dave, Janet, and Kathy have led the popular Leading Quality Improvement (LQI) virtual program at IHI for six years, with more than 7,000 participants to date. There have been many lessons learned along the way, and the dialogue with health care managers in the United States and around the world has been very valuable, enriching the learning and improving the curricula for future participants.

In this highly interactive session, they will explore time management, self awareness, coaching techniques, effective problem solving, communication, and other skills. Through didactic instruction, reflection, and sharing they will help you build your skills to drive quality improvement.

Sunday Half-Day Workshop
Quality Planning: What's Our Plan?
An essential and strategic activity for improving quality and safety is a strong quality planning process. How do you learn about the need of those you serve?

In this session, learn from Tampa General Hospital’s journey as they use IHI’s approach to quality planning as a launch pad to building leadership will, defining what’s the right work to do, and mapping the path forward.
Sunday Half-Day Workshop
Big System Quality Strategy and Management
What can large health systems learn from efforts to transform whole country health systems to deliver safer care? Recently, three seminal reports challenged health systems around the world to prioritize quality. This session shares results from work in Mexico, Ethiopia, Scotland, Ghana, and Nigeria “countries at various points in their National Quality Strategy journeys“ including a framework for countries and large systems seeking to develop a Quality Strategy and accompanying systems for management and learning.
Sunday Half-Day Workshop
Leading with Confidence When Things Go Wrong
All of us, no matter where we work in our organizations, will be confronted with situations where things have gone wrong.
This session will draw on emerging work on transparency in health care and integrate new insights from social and cognitive psychology to illustrate the critical role that every health care worker can play in promoting transparent responses to breakdowns in care.
Monday Half-Day Workshop
The Board's Role in Governing Quality
Is your Board Quality Oversight dated and tired? Are you looking for strategies to renew your board’s commitment to quality and improve your organization’s performance?

This session will be led by experts in governance and quality and will offer tactical and practical ideas for your board, with specific examples of leading systems and case studies of current board quality work. Participants will leave with a game plan for improvement in their board’s oversight of and commitment to quality.
Monday Half-Day Workshop
Playing Your Way to Improved Team Communications
Teaching interprofessional health care team members empathic and reflective communication skills has informed a highly interactive board game to practice and reinforce communication skills that result in improved communication, better relationships, and a better workplace. The game uses theory and knowledge about empathic and non-judgmental communication using PEARLS and the Ladder of inference. A communication coach provides support and encouragement during the game. All players are winners as a result of the cooperative play and learning.
Monday Half-Day Workshop
Improving Safety with Routinely Collected Data
Critical gaps exist in the data that enables organisations to identify current and emerging risks to patient safety. Safety failures continue to occur in health services worldwide. In order to combat this, we need to rethink how safety risks are identified. In this session we explore how, with data organisations already collect, risks to patient safety can be identified and care improvements can be directed.

This session will deliver a framework for identifying and analysing non-traditional patient safety data to drive healthcare improvement. The framework encompasses such data as patient feedback, medico-legal claims, sentinel events, reports to government clinical councils, practitioner regulator notifications, care volume, and more to identify and address current and emerging safety risks.
Monday Excursion
Brad Brewer Golf Academy: Leadership Lessons from the Links
This Excursion will give participants discuss connections between the game of golf and health care. PGA and LPGA professionals, instructors, and fitness experts will lead discussions and exercises focusing on behavioral health, improvement science, joy in work, and leadership.

Participants will also have an opportunity to implement tests of change with their own golf game.
Monday Full-Day Workshop
Deming in the 21st Century: Thinking Beyond the Usual
While today’s “Organizations as Usual” suffer from blind spots, commonly accepted levels of delays and mistakes, firmly entrenched silos, and losses from internal competition, they possess the ability to manage many resources as a single system, guided by leaders inspired by Dr. Deming. Whether you are a long-time Deming enthusiast or new to the community, this session is designed to reveal opportunities for improvement to health care organizations yearning to join others in becoming “unusual.”
Monday Full-Day Workshop
High-Impact Leadership: Teamwork at a Grand Scale
Sustaining organizational performance and quality improvement depends on leaders measuring, coaching, and developing team capability. From the board to the front line, each function has responsibilities, interconnected activities, and skills that must become habit, i.e., “Teamwork at a Grand Scale.”

​In this interactive course, we explore new thinking supported by case studies. Participants will take away strategies to implement a management system and develop leadership competencies to deliver results, sustain improvement, and create a learning organization.
Monday Full-Day Workshop
Leading for Improvement
This highly interactive session will discuss what it takes to establish a culture of continuous improvement in a large, complex organization. Participants will learn together how to create a coherent management system that focuses on quality and about the types of behaviors that encourage a culture where people feel empowered to improve the system in which they work.
Monday Full-Day Workshop
How an Aligned Management System Optimizes Clinical Outcomes, Patient Experience, and Economics
Virginia Mason Health System achieves outstanding results by applying the Virginia Mason Production System as its management system. This hardwires improvement into all aspects of organizational life through training all team members, ensuring one common improvement approach and language while fostering alignment from the board room to the frontlines of care.

This session describes what a comprehensive management system looks like in practice, how it operates and, most important, why these methods engage both hearts and minds, essential for engagement, implementation and sustained results.