Spreading Quality Improvement

Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Open School

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) expanded and strengthened its Open School to close the gap between what health care employees need to know about quality improvement and patient safety and what traditional curricula teach.

Dates of Project: 2009–2013

Key Results. IHI reported these overall key results of the Open School:

  • Open School staff developed 12 online courses on patient safety, quality improvement, person- and family-centered care, population health, operations and leadership, adding to six courses already offered. As of August 2013, 132,000 people had completed one or more online courses, and 22,000 had received certificates of completion for finishing all 16 foundational courses.
  • IHI developed and hosted an annual two-day Student Quality Leadership Academy on improving health care, attended by more than 400 participants from 2010 to 2013, including 14 percent from outside the United States.
  • IHI expanded its health care improvement network composed of local Open School Chapters and students, faculty, and mentors, which now includes 160,942 participants in 60 countries.
  • Open School staff developed Find-a-Mentor, an online matching tool that allows mentors to post their expertise, interests, and availability, and students to use specific criteria to search for mentors.
  • Nearly 100 medical residency programs and professional schools have integrated Open School courses into their curricula.

“The academy reaffirmed my passion for improving the health care system and introduced me to 149 of my colleagues who are as passionate about improvement as I am.”—Amy Distler

“Continuous quality improvement, constant evaluation of outcomes, and research to improve those outcomes are all essentials of the health care system I will enter as a new RN.”—Anne Harrington