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Starting is the hardest part…

By IHI Open School | Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Getting started can be the hardest part of any endeavor, and starting an IHI Open School Chapter is no exception. To some of us, this may seem like a no-brainer. Don’t we all want to improve care? Shouldn’t connecting with each other be a natural way to stay motivated and begin make positive changes?


While this may be true, conflicting schedules and priorities, busy faculty, and limited resources can all be roadblocks to getting and staying involved. The IHI Open School wants to make this easier for you. 


Using feedback from the Chapter network and your Chapter Progress Reports, we have revamped the Community webpages to include tips and strategies on everything from enrolling a new Chapter to creating a creating a quality improvement elective at your institution. Take a look at the new Chapter Webpages and keep the conversation going by leaving your feedback on our new Chapter discussion boards.


You can also join the Chapter Discussion Board Challenge! The Challenge is to see which Chapter can get the most activity (in other words, the most comments) on our new discussion boards by IHI's 24th Annual National Forum on December 9. The Chapter with the most web activity will receive a $250 reimbursement for your next Chapter event!


Finally, check out these tips on getting your Chapter started from your IHI Open School Regional Leaders:


- “Before you do anything else, get in touch with your Regional Leader! We're here to help with this. As Dr. Berwick says, "never worry alone." Get a small core group together to help with initial organization. Then start from the top down, and set up meetings with deans and faculty. Arrive with your laptop/tablet and our introduction to the IHI Open School Power Point in hand. Gauge their level of knowledge/interest and explain that the point of the meeting is just to get their approval/support for the organization.”

- Lakshman Swamy, Midwest US Regional Leader


- “Talk to your dean and get their support; they may be able to help you find an engaged Faculty Advisor.”

- Kimberly Hubbard Scott, MHA, Southeast US Regional Leader


- “One of the most important elements in establishing and maintaining a Chapter is the formation of a leadership team. This group should include students from all represented health professions along with faculty (preferably from each school too, but this may not always be possible). To help with continuity from year to year, it is ideal to have students from multiple years in their training so that knowledge can be passed down and so that the group can maintain momentum.”

- Ross Hilliard, M.D., Northeast US Regional Leader


- “Decide if you want [to engage] one school or multiple, and then get support from neighboring Chapters, Regional Leaders, and students and faculty at your school to help develop a plan. I started by rallying the student and faculty leadership and then developing Chapter goals with input from students. Be creative about who to involve and what resources you have for Chapter events/meetings (videos, case studies, off campus social events, etc.). Meetings should be interactive and there should be clear take-aways and lessons learned for students.”

– Jessica Schwartz, M.H.A., Western US Regional Leader


Remember that we’re here for you. Along with your Chapter, we can help you stay connected to what you’re passionate about!


-The IHI Open School Team

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