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5 Tips for a Successful Chapter Event from Wright State University

By IHI Open School | Tuesday, June 30, 2015

On a cold, dreary evening last December, the IHI Open School Chapter at Wright State University held a meeting to talk about the concept of quality improvement (QI) and its growing importance in medical professions. The Chapter Leaders hoped the event would expose students to the ideas of QI and to help them get involved in their own QI projects. Brian Patterson, one of the Chapter Leaders, said that their strategy worked: “We were delighted at the questions and attentiveness of the audience. Many students seemed to take a strong interest in QI.”


Medical students work with a simulated patient while nursing students place a peripheral IV in an interprofessional simulation hosted by the WSU Chapter in April 2014.

If you’re thinking about planning a similar meeting, here are five things WSU did that could help you create a successful event:

  1.  Start at the beginning by introducing the Open School and QI. The event at WSU opened with a video that explained the goal of the IHI Open School, and another from the famous Dr. Mike Evans about the history and concepts of quality improvement in health care. “Students seemed just as interested in the videos as they were with the pizza,” Brian said.
  2.  Share real projects to improve the quality of care. Most students are drawn to QI because they want to make health care better. So they were excited to hear about two quality improvement projects headed by physicians in the local health care system. One project focused on reducing physician interruptions in the operating room. Another implemented more stringent screening tools to identify depression in diabetics among the urban population of Dayton, Ohio.
  3. When carrots don’t work, try sticks. Upperclassmen in the audience told students that QI is an increasingly sought-after skill set by employers and residencies. Student doctors told the crowd that quality improvement projects are also a requirement of some residency programs.
  4. Offer the opportunity to practice interprofessional teamwork. Students learned about the WSU Chapter’s activity in the simulation lab, where WSU medical and nursing students work with Cedarville University pharmacy students to rotate through a high-fidelity (very realistic) simulation lab with a manikin patient. WSU hosted this event after learning about a similar activity hosted by the IHI Open School Chapter in North Dakota. Hooray, Chapter network!
  5. Free food! Although not a requirement, event organizers at WSU said the hot pizza helped draw student out on an especially cold and dreary day. That’s what IHI Open School event sponsorship is great for!
Brian and the other leaders of the Chapter thought this all came together nicely to help the Chapter with several of its goals — recruitment, teaching QI skills, and raising awareness about the Chapter and QI in health care. “We were all very happy with the event, and believe that events such as these are vital to the success of the Chapter,” he said.

Do you have any tips to add? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!

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