After many brainstorming sessions among the officers of our IHI Open School Chapter at SUNY Update Medical University, we decided that the best way to approach some of the complex problems at Upstate would be to bring in perspectives from all different fields of health care. We created a monthly event to bring students from different health care programs together to begin the conversation about quality improvement. We added a lecture series featuring leadership presentations from TED Talks
Talking about health care improvement issues in the context of leadership created some very interesting discussion. Two main themes emerged: 1) how to use the leadership principles covered to effectively carry out a QI project and 2) how leadership faults have created problems in health care. The TED Talks screened at the first event were:
Pictured: Students at SUNY Upstate viewing the leadership lectures from TED Talks.
We attracted members from three of the four colleges and I believe that word will spread to recruit a larger crowd at next month’s meeting. To advertise we set up a grass roots campaign, which focused on recruiting active students in each of the disciplines at Upstate. Chapter Leaders presented before large classes in the College of Medicine, College of Nursing, and College of Health Professions and at the student government‘s monthly meeting to encourage officers from each class to advertise the meeting to students in their respective programs. Each presentation focused on the importance of pioneering the first interprofessional group on campus and the role students can have in improving the systems in the local health care system. Going forward, we plan to extend our advertising efforts to faculty of the various health programs to join our cause and help promote our opportunities.
It is very exciting to see our officers’ ideas coming to fruition. We are planning two more installments of the leadership lecture series using TED Talks by the end of the semester and will be screening Escape Fire
before the end of the year. We believe that leadership training is connected to quality improvement and plan to sponsor a workshop on how to create and manage a medical practice and address how to avoid common oversights that lead to patient care issues. In addition to the video series and leadership workshop, we recently formed a committee set to start a quality improvement project. We are working with faculty advisors and students to select project ideas and are using the IHI Open School courses to build the skills. Our goal is to have a concrete project and plan of action by the end of the year. We have a very enthusiastic and intelligent group of junior officers and are very excited about the future of the IHI Open School Chapter.
-- Jared Smith, SUNY Upstate Medical University, MS IV