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Celebrating 100,000 in the IHI Open School: Patient Voice

By IHI Open School | Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The IHI Open School was originally created to provide education on quality improvement and patient safety to students in health professional schools. Digging deeper, that means, in essence, to provide better care to patients everywhere, every time.

So why, from the patient perspective, should the next 100,000 students join the IHI Open School? We asked our two IHI advisors. Here’s what they had to say:

Martha Hayward, Lead, Public-Patient Engagement, IHI:

“If we want the health care systems to get a little better over the coming decades, then medical students learning from doctors who function really well in the current system is a perfect way to learn. If we want to improve our health care systems and delivery, every student should be impassioned with ideas for innovation, excellence, and an eye to the future.

We need 100,000 more leaders with ideas, passion, and innovation skills to create the future NOW instead of continuing in the past!”


Kari Dudley, IHI Open School Patient Advisor:


As the new patient advisor to the IHI Open School, I was also asked to answer this question about the next 100,000 students. When I first saw it, a rush of answers, thoughts, and ideas immediately came to mind. And then suddenly, I found that I wanted to add the following:  “Why should the next 100,000 students and residents join the IHI Open School” AND, “How can we better integrate patients into the curriculum?” 


Yes, as a patient advisor, you can assume that is always top of mind for me. After all, what better way to learn about patient safety and quality improvement (skills that you will learn in the Open School) than to include the patient in the conversation about patient safety and quality improvement? The good news is that we, and now you, are in the right place. IHI is making these connections. 


You are at that pivotal point in your schooling, and preparation of your career, to make a difference.

By joining the IHI Open School, you acknowledge that you are open to learning and open to new ideas. You probably realize that the interactions you have now, at this point in your education, will affect your thoughts, beliefs, and openness to change, in your future practice; a practice that will be patient-centered. 


As a patient advocate, I will commit, alongside you, to participate, to communicate and to be the change agent that we are being asked to become. 


Why should you join? Why shouldn’t you? 


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