Feb 27, 2012

Our experience at the Southeast Regional IHI Open School Forum

The Second Annual IHI Open School Southeast Regional Forum in Greenville, SC, was, in short, a fantastic experience. After cramming for—and taking—yet another med school exam, my co-attendee Paras and I drove about five hours down to Greenville for a conference that would remind us once again of the big picture of why we are in medicine.

After we settled in our hotel, we turned to a generous reception the conference offered and I found myself surrounded by other IHI Chapter leaders and experts in patient safety and quality. It was the start of two days of great networking. Just for starters, I learned how payments around patient safety were changing and how other Chapters recruited and raised awareness among their members.

The next day began bright and early, and once again the networking was genuine and extremely useful. HealthSouth founder and former CFO Aaron Beam's presentation was a very relevant cautionary tale about slippery ethics and risk factors. I'm sure I'll recall his story when I'll undoubtedly find myself and my colleagues faced with the temptation to cross ethical lines "just this once."

The presentation by South Carolina Hospital Association that followed delved into how one defines, creates, and maintains a "just culture" around medical errors and their reporting. Only by admitting our mistakes can we learn from them and prevent them from happening to others. I found the case study particularly compelling and useful in solidifying my understanding.

In all, I met some great people, and took away lessons that will help me:

1.       Build a stronger IHI Open School Chapter
2.       Foster a culture of open error-reporting in my career 

Emily Ingram, Ryan Baker & Cassie Besten
University of South Carolina  Columbia College of Nursing , 2012

Marisa Dowling
Duke University School of Medicine, 2015