Dec 2, 2010

Student Teams at the Forum

The IHI Open School team cares about maximizing the value you take away from the National Forum. This year we've incorporated student teams -- a new team-based approach, exclusively for IHI Open School attendees--into our programs. The student teams concept is our answer to a simple question: What are the habits of the world's best conference goers? How do the seasoned veterans leverage a few days' meeting into the knowledge, networking, and inspiration to fuel a year's worth of success in improving health care? It must take more than coffee.

The response has been terrific and we have 10 teams coming to the Forum! Each team is formed of 4-6 students and residents with a mix of professional and demographic factors. We'd like to thank all of you who will be participating in this unique experience. The student teams received their team assignments last week and were asked to develop their team's learning mission by making a comment at the end of this blog post. You'll be able to see what other teams are working on and hopefully find opportunities to collaborate while at the Forum. We've collected a set of best practices from other conference goers below.

How to optimize your IHI National Forum experience:
  1. Active learning. With so much packed into three days, it's easy to miss a key insight in the blur of PowerPoints and plenaries. The best technique, we learned, is to think up questions well before the end of a talk. Keeping questions in mind throughout the conference, continuously searching for answers, and reflecting on daily lessons are key best practices of active learners.
  2. Networking for collaboration. The knowledge to be gained at the Forum is world class, but it's called a meeting because that's what you're supposed to do! To make the most out of your experience, you'll want to be sure to meet the right people. You may find it difficult to find colleagues who share your interests in health care improvement at your school or institution, but student teams are designed to provide an immediate addition to your network of colleagues with common interests, and to provide a starting point for connecting with people you want to meet.
  3. Connecting to core values. What makes the IHI National Forum so valuable is that improving health care is not just a specialty, it's a movement. Along with a list of great ideas and a stack of business cards, you leave with a sense of joy and excitement about the mission of improving health care that will carry you through the challenges of the year. The IHI Open School hopes that with the help of the student teams you will be going home at the end of the Forum energized and inspired. We hope that the Forum will be as much about learning what's new as rediscovering the core values that sparked your passions in the first place.

To our student teams: We're excited to see the results you come up with while at the Forum. Now's your chance to share your team's mission with the rest of the IHI Open School Community! Please share your team's mission in the comments section below.

See you in Orlando!

--Daniel Henderson