This fall, the University of British Columbia (UBC) joined several
hundred universities committed to quality improvement in health care by
launching the first IHI Open School Chapter in British Columbia. We found a
great deal of enthusiasm from health students and professionals alike!
In mid-November, we held our inaugural event, which featured
Andrew Wray, Director Learning and Strategic Initiatives for the BC Patient
Safety and Quality Council (BCPSQC), an advisory committee that supports
evidence-based and patient-centered approaches to patient safety and quality
improvement across the province. Approximately 35 health students and
professionals attended the event at a beautiful lecture hall at Vancouver
General Hospital, which was graciously provided by the UBC Faculty of Medicine.
After a period of networking, guests were ushered into the
hall. Wray began with the simple, but pertinent question: What is quality? (It
must be defined before we can think to improve it.) Wray provided a thoughtful
overview of quality improvement and patient safety, and the importance of
designing efficient systems to reduce error. He provided examples of projects
currently underway across British Columbia and described the role of the BCPSQC
in these projects. Guests offered thoughtful questions regarding data
management and continuity of care. Wray also described a great need for student
engagement in upcoming quality improvement projects in Vancouver and encouraged
students to get involved – which was a great way to set the stage for future QI
Following Wray’s talk, Jacqueline Singer, our IHI Open
School Chapter Treasurer, and Andrea Jones, our IHI Open School Chapter President,
led a case study about medical error disclosure, encouraging an open discussion
that engaged the diverse expertise in the room. (Our Chapter’s executive team
comprises graduate and undergraduate students from a variety of backgrounds
including health administration, neuroscience, and sociology.) The case study,
available as part of the numerous and invaluable resources provided by the IHI Open School, offered the opportunity to discuss the disclosure of errors
that do not result in obvious harm to the patient. Guests offered interesting
perspectives on potential root causes for the vaccine administration error
described in the case and a UBC professor emphasized the importance of empathy
in approaching difficult discussions with patients.
In future events, we hope to enhance accessibility by
offering video conferencing options for students on UBC main and satellite
campuses. Further, we envision the next speaker leading a case study from their
own personal experience, enabling them to provide details and personal
strategies for success.
We were pleased with the success of our first event and our
gears are turning about future ones! We are also working
to establish a strong professional network as the foundation for quality
improvement projects to come in late spring/early summer.
For more information or to share any comments, please feel
free to contact us at email@example.com!