By Jason Madsen, University of Utah, Chapter Leader
At the University of Utah, our Open School Chapter has a vision
to include as many departments with an interest in quality and safety
initiatives in health care as possible. With that in mind, we used our Chapter
steering meeting this November as an opportunity to gather at least one
representative from each of these departments and give them an overview of our
group, and how we could benefit students in their respective programs. Our hope
is that after giving them this presentation and including them in our
discussions, they’ll be excited to help support the chapter as we develop, and
find ways to integrate IHI into their programs.
Planning the Meeting:
After setting the date, we worked with the Master of Health
Administration (MHA) Program Director and the Program Manager to compile a list
of names in the various health care departments throughout the University,
which included the College of Nursing, College of Business, School of Medicine,
College of Health, College of Pharmacy, College of Social Work, and the College
of Social and Behavioral Science.
We drafted an invitation well in advance of our meeting and emailed
it to the individuals on our list, asking for their participation or the
participation of a colleague, as well as asking if any students might be
interested in taking on leadership roles within the Chapter. This email was
very well accepted, and many of the departments circulated the information to
help us find representatives who could attend the meeting. We received RSVPs
from 14 individuals throughout the University.
Other planning included the creation of a PowerPoint to
present at the meeting, arrangements for refreshments, and other logistical
items. We spoke with Jessica Perlo, the Community Manager for the IHI Open
School, and were able to integrate IHI’s PowerPoint that introduces and
explains the Open School with one of our own and received handouts and
bookmarks for each of the participants.
The meeting went well. We had representatives from Pharmacy,
Nutrition, Quality (Hospital System), Health Promotion, School of Medicine,
Physical Therapy, School of Business, College of Health, College of Nursing,
and Emergency Medical Services. There was a lot of discussion around how the Chapter
could help students fulfill some of their programs’ educational requirements
(e.g. research, program development, etc.) and how we could align Chapter initiatives
with the goals of the hospital system.
The biggest concern the attendees expressed was the time
that would be required of students’ already full schedules. This led to a
discussion of how IHI programs can be integrated into a curriculum or other
methods to combine IHI programming with some of the things students are already
being asked to do. We were not able to come up with more specific solutions in
the short time period we had, but these concerns will be heavily considered as
we move forward with the development of the Chapter.
After the Meeting:
Overall, the meeting had a positive effect. We have received
emails from many of the attendees expressing their interest in continuing their
involvement with our Chapter. We believe that we successfully illustrated our
value to students in each of the different groups at the meeting, and this
understanding will help us in the future when we ask for support in upcoming
Of special note, one of the individuals present at the
meeting expressed an interest in taking the information that we presented about
our Chapter to the Chief of Quality for the University of Utah Hospitals and
Clinics. The hospital system is in the process of developing a system-wide
program aimed at improving quality and safety throughout the system, and, given
our similar mission, our IHI Chapter could be a good conduit for involving
students and faculty in that program.
Our plan is to continue to pursue working with the University
of Utah Hospital System to see if we can integrate our Chapter into their
system-wide quality program. If they’re interested in working with us, we can
support their objectives, and they can provide us with support and structure to
generate interest and build a stronger Chapter.
If we are unable to directly align ourselves with the
hospital system, we will continue to pursue opportunities indirectly. As
students find interest in projects, we will work with them individually on
executing those projects. We will plan events (e.g., speakers, discussions, and
activities) to help generate interest in the Open School. Going this route will
likely make it harder to accumulate numbers in the short term; however, we feel
that with time we will be able to demonstrate our value independently, and that
interest and participation in our Chapter will continue to grow.