Aug 6, 2012

IHI Open School Blog Has Moved

The IHI Open School is happy to announce that our blog has moved to the IHI website. You can find the blog here.

Why the move? It allows the blog to be better integrated into our workflow and more connected to the content we produce. For example, searches on will now include our blog posts.

Looking for an old post? Don’t worry. We’ve migrated many of our most popular posts from this Blogger site to the new blog, allowing you to search back through old content. 

While you’re checking out our new home, be sure to look out for several other blogs IHI is launching in 2012!

Jul 8, 2012

Drinks, Pizza, and a Little Basketball

Nostalgic for the hours I used to spend in college dining halls debriefing a long organic chemistry lab session, planning the next Chinese Students Association event or discussing the misuse of Murphy's Law when describing catastrophic global events, I take great comfort in studying in cafes or catching a casual drink at low-key bars. Food and drinks are within reach and conversations are aplenty. However, it seemed just too perfect that I would find myself at a Wolverine friendly bar and pizza joint called the Brown Dog in the middle of Telluride to catch Game 3 of the NBA finals with my new patient safety friends.

In between sips (true sips because alcohol and high altitude could turn into a physiologic disaster), we would seamlessly transition from discussing the patient harm that results from unstandardized hand-offs to watching the Miami Heat claw their way towards a lead in the series against the Thunder. The true cherry on top was the mouth-watering smells of Detroit deep dish pizza that surrounded us. Because the University of Michigan atmosphere mixed with good pizza and beer seemed to be a winning combination for stimulating patient safety conversations and Miami Heat success, we recreated the magic for the rest of Miami's journey to become the 2012 NBA Champions. As I wistfully look back on my week in Telluride, especially as I suffer in the inhumane heat wave that has metaphorically encircled Southeast Michigan in an inescapable head-lock, I can’t help but intertwine patient safety and health care quality improvement with basketball.

Since becoming a basketball fan when the Miami Heat won the NBA Championship in 2006, my home team has really tried my patience. Like any health care quality nerd, I began to see health care connections in sports. The Miami Heat represented all of the negative characteristics of a poor performing health care system, primarily an organization that had seemingly lost its way (click here to read more about the Miami Heat and its failures as an HRO).

2010 represented a turning point. In a politically unwise and arrogantly publicized event, LeBron James was recruited to join Dwyane Wade and play for the Miami Heat. Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors also decided to move to warmer climates. Before I knew it, amidst the global antagonism directed towards Miami, a new sense of purpose had been injected into my home team: The Big Three had promised to fill their fingers with championship rings. While the rest of the world derided the team for its bombastic promises, I bought into the dream. With three superstars on the same team, as the Boston Celtics had proven in 2007, how could the Miami Heat fail?

Did the Miami Heat succeed in the 2011 NBA Finals? No. The Big Three was simply that, three basketball superstars who all happened to play on the same team. An optimist would say that The Big Three’s first season together was a string of small experiments (PDSA cycles) on how LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh would share the court together. But, what this looked like on TV was confusion and a total lack of coordination. The Big Three had their moments when they would each individually live up to their All-Star reputations, but these occurred in unpredictable and unreliable spurts. The Miami Heat haphazardly played its way into the 2011 NBA Finals and an entire season’s worth of bewilderment became obvious to the world as it was blown out by the Dallas Mavericks. I distinctly remember watching the team disintegrate into a group of headless chickens that did not seem to know what to do even when it possessed the ball.

In retrospect, the 2010-2011 season should not have come as a surprise to me. In assembling The Big Three, the Miami Heat committed the same mistake that many health care organizations make: attempting to achieve greatness through cultivating great parts. In a thought experiment to build the world’s greatest car by assembling the world’s greatest car parts, Dr. Don Berwick, former CMS Administrator and CEO of IHI, describes:

    “Anyone who understands systems will know immediately that optimizing parts is not a good route to system excellence”… We’d connect the engine of a Ferrari, the brakes of a Porsche, the suspension of a BMW, the body of a Volvo. “What we get, of course, is nothing close to a great car; we get a pile of very expensive junk.”

The basketball teams that want success to become an intrinsic characteristic of the team, invest and develop not just individual talent, but also create a reliable system of teamwork.

Examining the Miami Heat’s run for the 2012 NBA Championship, the Miami Heat has done just that: built on the talents of The Big Three and transformed into a high-functioning team. For those that continue to carry Miami Heat antagonism (I realize I am in the great minority being a Miami Heat fan), I’m not claiming perfection, but improvement. Although an abbreviated season, the Miami Heat discovered a rhythm of teamwork that allowed The Big Three to play together as a more unified front. The Miami Heat faced one of its first great tests in the second round of the playoffs against the Pacers. Chris Bosh was injured and out of the picture and the Miami Heat was shut out of Game 3, falling behind in the series 1-2. The Miami Heat of 2011 probably would have been knocked out of the NBA Finals running. But, the Miami Heat of 2012 readjusted and Udonis Haslem stepped up to the plate to fill in the gap that Chris Bosh left. The Miami Heat beat the Pacers 4-2.

Improved teamwork was even seen off of the court. In the wake of the Miami Heat taking the lead in Game 3 against the Thunder, the drama that erupted in the media was when Kevin Durant of the Thunder was caught telling Dwyane Wade, "You're too small." Although the statistics of the team do back-up Kevin Durant's statement, LeBron James' response that the actual size of the players doesn't matter as long as they're fundamentally sound and play with the effort that helps that makes up that difference, rang true of the 2012 Miami Heat teamwork mantra. Just looking at the media coverage of the Miami Heat's journey to the championships, the words "we" and "team" are being used more frequently and coverage of the last game sings the praises of not just the Big Three, but also Mike Miller, Shane Battier, and Mario Chalmers--critical teammates who all contributed to the win.

So, what does this all mean for health care? The theme of the week at the Telluride Roundtable was communication. While we spent the day discussing the importance of communication facilitating successful teamwork, what we had in front of us in our after hours was an example of the incredible transformation of a basketball team that truly took teamwork to heart. So, as many of us are getting ready to apply for residency and are looking for residency programs and institutions that value patient safety, don't fall into the trap of optimizing health care by just optimizing individual parts, also consider what programs and institutions do to facilitate excellent interdisciplinary teamwork.

While the IHI Open School facilitates interdisciplinary communication by bringing health professions students of all disciplines out of their isolated silos together to discuss quality improvement and patient safety, what else can be done to improve interdisciplinary communication and hence create a reliable system of teamwork? I'd love to hear what you are doing at your institutions, so comment below and share your successes and challenges--perhaps some drinks and pizza will spark some health care quality improvement magic.

Jun 27, 2012

Helpful Hoyas: Training IHI Blue Shirts at Georgetown

By Lindsay DeGennaro, IHI Event Manager

Walking onto the oldest Jesuit and Catholic university campus in the United States — among the likes of Rhodes Scholars, heads of state, senators, and medical pioneers — can be a little intimidating, albeit exhilarating. Meandering through historic Healy Hall felt as though we had been transported back into time (or possibly to Hogwarts). Any daunting feeling we had, however, quickly subsided as we were warmly welcomed by volunteers from the IHI Open School Georgetown Chapter.

They had gathered for a two-hour training on how to staff and run an event, the IHI Blue Shirt way.

As a seasoned Event Manager from IHI (that’s me in the picture; I’m a little bigger in real life), I eagerly accepted the challenge to transfer all of my knowledge of planning large-scale events to the soon-to-be Blue Shirts, in a mere two hours. At IHI, we’re proud to know that the Blue Shirt title is coveted by many people from around the world who attend our National Forum or Office Practice Summit each year. Being a Blue Shirt is more than just directing with an open palm and helping people find the restrooms; it’s about embracing the values of IHI and transferring them to attendees, empowering them to take what they’ve learned and make changes in their own organizations. When attendees leave our programs thinking, “I could change the world” instead of, “I wish they had more sandwiches,” the Blue Shirts have done their jobs. So when Dan Alyeshmerni, Mark Fischer, and James Cervantes, Chapter Leaders of the IHI Open School Georgetown Chapter, told us they wanted their attendees to have a “Blue Shirt experience” for their lecture on June 5th, we knew exactly what they meant.

We knew that Dan, a repeat attendee of the IHI National Forum, had a deep appreciation for the IHI Blue Shirts. Surely, the volunteers from the Georgetown Chapter would be equally enamored? As it turned out, not many of the 15 volunteers had experienced a Blue Shirt event. If you, too, haven’t yet heard of a Blue Shirt, you may want to refer to this IHI Open School blog post.

After we showed the now famous Blue Shirt Video, we had them tapping to the beat of Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind,” but they didn’t quite grasp the Blue Shirt concept. It wasn’t until that Tuesday at 7 AM did the prospect of squeezing more than 400 attendees into the beautiful, yet compact, Gaston Hall, make them understand what being a Blue Shirt really meant.

Donning black pants and the notorious blue polo shirts (hence the affectionate term “Blue Shirt”), the student volunteers from various disciplines at Georgetown University arrived with excitement and anticipation. They were eager to attend the Inaugural Dr. Amitai Etzioni Lecture, “Putting the Patient First: Providing Health Care That is Patient Safe and Patient Centered.” At this inaugural event, Carolyn Clancy M.D., Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Donald Berwick, M.D., M.P.P., FRCP, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and former President and CEO of IHI, inspired us with their insight and expertise in quality improvement.

As the attendees began to arrive, the Blue Shirts (all wearing their best smile) manned their stations and began to greet, direct, usher, and herd until each of the seats in the auditorium was filled. They were not only polite and assertive; they went above and beyond, making sure each attendee was having a great experience. I even saw one
Blue Shirt walk a lost attendee all the way from the parking garage, up the four flights of stairs to the hall, and into their seat in the auditorium. Now, that is what it means to be a Blue Shirt!

Stephen Evans, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, opened the lecture by offering sincere appreciation to the IHI Open School Georgetown Chapter for planning such a successful event. Dr. Evans labeled the Chapter accurately with his sentiment, “Thanks to the IHI Open School [Georgetown Chapter], who I describe as a hungry pack of wolves. You feed them meat and they go right after it.”

The IHI Open School was a reoccurring topic in both Dr. Clancy and Dr. Berwick’s keynote presentations. Dr. Clancy placed importance on the need for changing the culture of how medical professionals are educated. Dr. Berwick highlighted the IHI Open School’s wide range of online courses in the areas of quality improvement, patient safety, patient- and family-centered care, managing health care operations, and leadership. He reminded the audience that the way to put the patient first is by engaging and educating health care professionals around the world. With a membership of 93,895 students and residents, and 461 Chapters in 54 countries (and growing), the ability for the Open School to reach the masses of health care professionals is significant. Dr. Berwick also noted that “coverage is key to improvement, improvement is key to coverage.” Knowing the leverage that the IHI Open School has, Dr. Berwick challenged the School to enlist two million health care professionals by December 2014, stating that this is not only possible, but also necessary for the future of quality improvement.

After a standing ovation, the Hoya spirit shined as the tireless Blue Shirts resumed their positions, ushering and directing attendees toward the exits. As the buzzing crowd cleared the auditorium, it was obvious that the IHI Open School would be a few hundred people closer to the two million-person goal set by Dr. Berwick.

While the proud volunteers began excitedly debriefing the event (even hesitating to give back their blue polo shirts), we knew that these 15 people had not only understood the Blue Shirt concept; they had fully embraced it.

Jun 18, 2012

Why Hospitals Should Fly...

Isn't it appropriate that after 7hrs of flying and a 1.5hr windy car ride I find myself in Telluride, CO at an elevation of over 10,000ft to spend a week participating in the 8th Annual Telluride Interdisciplinary Patient Safety Roundtable?

My third year of medical school has been nothing short of transformative. While my classmates and I have grown tremendously in translating our theoretical knowledge into clinical skills, what has also grown is an increasing awareness of the plight of our patients. Many of our patients are already in a vulnerable position given their medical conditions. What does the health care system do to help them regain their health? We force them to navigate the rough seas of a fragmented health care system.

Out of frustration for one of my patient's experiences while on my Family Medicine clerkship, I wrote this welcome message that satirizes the typical patient experience in our current system:

Welcome aboard the US Health Care Cruise Line! Please take your time to explore all of the great features we have to offer on our entertainment Decks to take care of all of your medical needs, whether you need them or not! Here, our motto is “more is better,” so take this opportunity now to indulge away!

First, a brief message to our VIP guests: As the group of people with multiple health and social needs that are the true drivers of high health care costs, welcome! As you navigate this beautiful vessel outfitted with the latest most expensive technology and drugs, please keep the following in mind:

  • Primary care services are conveniently located on Decks 1 and 5. Deck 1 is only accessible via our exclusive Jet Ski coverage program. If you are not a Jet Ski member, we recommend you seek services at Deck 5. Deck 5 is only open three days a week in the afternoons. Both Decks have the friendliest of staff, but are only trained to address clinical questions.
  • Housing, childcare, utilities, legal, financial assistance and food services are available. With constantly evolving entertaining activities being offered through these agencies, we unfortunately do not have updated directions to reach them. But, if you wander around the ship long enough, you will surely find your way! These are some of our busiest services with the greatest demand, so please don’t be discouraged if we cannot address your needs. None of our passengers have suffered too greatly due to inaccessibility to these agencies.
  • 24 Hr Care is available on Deck 9. You can access Deck 9 by any means. But, in exchange for this convenience, you will likely need to wait several hours before being seen. A 24 Hr All-You-Can-Eat Pizza Bar is also located on the same Deck to make waiting more tolerable.
  • Getting around the ship is most efficiently completed on foot as there are long staircases that connect most Decks. However, if this is difficult for you, please call the main office to arrange for transportation. We have a limited number of staff who can carry you to your desired destination. But, your height and weight may prevent you from taking advantage of this great service.
  • Specialty care services for diabetes, cancer, asthma, mental health, and hypertension are located in a gilded section of the ship. We are practicing cutting edge techniques that are so advanced that there is little literature available about them! Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you are having difficulties finding our specialty services. We would be happy to escort you there. Just be sure to bring your boarding passes, credit card statement that documents the purchase of this cruise, and any records of all of the experiences you have had here onboard. We do not have an electronic system connecting all of our services.
  • Lastly, drug and nutritional supplements must be purchased off of the ship, so you are encouraged to step off and explore our various stops. These islands are not very well-equipped, so please be flexible with the inconsistencies of what they have to offer.
  • Only the Captain is completely familiar with the ship and its services, but given how busy he is, he is unlikely to be able to help you navigate your stay. We are confident that you all are capable of coordinating your own cruise activities!
  • With these simple rules, I can guarantee that you will feel so overwhelmed by our top notch services that you will be wondering, “was it all really worth it?” Again, welcome aboard and enjoy your stay!

    Despite sporadic episodes of safe, effective, patient-centered, efficient, timely, and equal care throughout my third year, our inconsistent ability to deliver high quality care has left me almost hopeless for the future of health care. But, what has reenergized my spirits was reading the book Why Hospitals Should Fly written by John Nance, a professional pilot and lawyer with a distinguished career in leading the patient safety movement. The book is a fictional narrative that follows a former CEO of a hospital, Dr. Will Jenkins, as he travels to a suburb of Denver, CO to visit the fictional St. Michael's Memorial Hospital. St. Michael's is THE ideal hospital that exudes quality not only in its basic processes and operations, but also in its culture. As Dr. Jenkins visits various departments in the hospital, the reader not only learns about the effectiveness of specific interventions to improve safety (i.e. multidisciplinary rounds, team huddles, checklists, etc.), but also indirectly gains insight to the process of implementation (probably the most difficult part of patient safety work).

    When I finished reading the book, I felt like my head had been lifted up from the chaos of our current broken system. My head is now 10,000ft above sea level, the same elevation where aircraft passengers can safely use their electronic devices. While I'm forced to drink liters of water a day to ward off acute mountain sickness, perhaps it is necessary for me to be at the level where airplanes fly in order to better understand how to redesign our health care system to achieve high quality care. That is probably the reason why we are all here at Telluride, CO.

    Stay tuned throughout this week as we dissect some of our health care system's greatest challenges. You can follow our thoughts here and on Twitter (#TPSER8). You can also take a look at Paul Levy's experience here at Telluride on his blog. Here's to a strong take-off tomorrow!

    Jun 13, 2012

    Highlighting Quality Improvement in Toronto

    By Craig Olmstead, Medical Student, University of Toronto

    It was a long, but satisfying day.

    From the early-morning set up to the take down in the evening, the 2nd annual Quality Improvement & Patient Safety (QuIPS) Conference, presented by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s University of Toronto Chapter, provided ample opportunity to discover the breadth of health care system innovations occurring in Toronto and beyond.

    Held May 5 at the University of Toronto, the conference drew about 140 delegates from across universities in the greater Toronto area. Presentations from professionals and students alike highlighted the many initiatives being undertaken to improve health care delivery throughout Ontario, from developments in e-Health, to mobile phone applications for children with diabetes, to improvements in hand washing compliance.

    Most gratifying, however, was seeing the projects done by the many students present, displayed for the whole conference to see. I was incredibly proud that the work my team had done was one of these projects. Over the better part of the last academic year, five students from various health care-related backgrounds, including myself, have been engaged in a quality improvement project at one of the major hospitals in downtown Toronto. We had the chance to work on a program to improve physician adherence to well-established guidelines on the prevention of serious blood clot formation in the legs of non-mobile patients. We had an opportunity to see how frequently physicians were considering this risk, and to initiate interventions in one department aimed at improving the rates of risk assessment. While results are still preliminary, it does appear as though there was an improvement after these interventions.

    After months of dedication demonstrated by my teammates and our in-hospital support, it was very rewarding to not only have our poster be viewed by so many influential individuals. (Having our efforts recognized by being voted 2nd in the conference poster competition was simply icing on the cake.) It was a fitting culmination to over half a year of hard work overcoming challenges to make improvements to the health care system in our community.

    The QuIPS conference was an excellent venue to share our story and learn from others, and I can express nothing but appreciation for being given the chance to do so.

    Jun 11, 2012

    QI Field Trip: The UNH IHI Open School Chapter Comes to Cambridge

    By Jessica Hatch, Nursing Student, IHI Open School Chapter Leader, University of New Hampshire

    Is your chapter in the Boston area? Have you considered taking advantage of touring the IHI offices and meeting the Open School staff?

    If you haven’t, then you should! If you did not know about the opportunity, then start inquiring! And if you are thoroughly disappointed that you are geographically unable to visit, I honestly cannot blame you.

    What I can do is offer you an inside scoop on the environment of IHI: engrained in the values of quality improvement and innovation, the offices are the epitome of an unforgettably original and exciting organizational culture.

    The IHI offices are housed in the high rises of the Charles Hotel in the heart of Cambridge, overlooking the locally beloved Charles River. Immediately upon exiting the elevators, guests and employees alike are greeted with a motivating segment of the IHI’s mission statement displayed in large font above the reception area. The open floor plan invites group collaboration with only the slightest segmentation of task forces, by either low dividers or glass frames. Each task force is encouraged to gather centrally at their shared tables throughout the day, again showing how highly teamwork is valued in the organization.

    Interesting and colorful progress boards are found throughout the hallways, offering information on upcoming goals, previous achievements, and often a comical comment for a good laugh or two. One wall is strictly dedicated to displaying the history behind IHI, like a timeline, reminding all whom explore the building of the hard work and underlying values that have allowed this organization to continually improve and flourish. 

    Have I mentioned the numerous quotes strategically strewn throughout the office space? Not only were they visually pleasing, but they were thought provoking and encouraging. As students, we all looked around and could envision ourselves working in such an amazing space. Or perhaps it was the idea that one’s organizational culture could be genuinely represented in the design of their workplace. If we are to proclaim the ideas of interdisciplinary collaboration, transfer of knowledge, empowerment of staff, and evidence-based best practice, what better place to start than to immerse yourself daily in a floor plan that is supportive of just that?

    Without going on and on much more about how the beliefs, values, and aspirations of IHI were evident in each staff member as well, I will share the takeaways that a number of fellow peers shared after our tour:

    “Inspiring to see quality improvement in action at such a large scale…great opportunity and encouraged us to use IHI resources now and in the future”

    “I found all of the quotes on the walls inspiring as well as the enthusiasm of our tour guide and the people with whom we stopped and spoke with along the way. It showed that they are not just people sitting behind desks pushing out tutorials for the front lines. They are passionate about their work, live their mission and vision, and truly care about making hospitals and ambulatory care settings a safer, better environment.”

    “At first I was confused as to why we were taking a tour through an office building — aren't they all the same? But I soon learned that there is value in seeing and understanding how IHI employees work.  The atmosphere within the office seems to mirror the philosophies of the organization. Meeting with the IHI Open School team was also a very useful conversation. I didn't realize how new the concept is and how much it is still evolving. I felt that the meeting was beneficial on both sides (I hope it was!) since the Open School course work focuses on quality improvement just as the CNL does.”

    “They were extremely kind and do amazing work. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

    “The tour encouraged future use of IHI resources when no longer a student IHI is a life-long valuable resource.”

    “Their enthusiasm for their work was infectious. Our cohort got so much out of this visit and we are excited about bringing IHI resources into our future practice.”

    “IHI is a community of innovative, forward thinkers and it was exciting to see and have hope for the future of health care!”

    “I appreciated the folks at their desk that took a minute to tell us what their job entailed. The personalization brought it to life … I’m interested in staying connected and motivated to complete the QI process through IHI.”
    “I loved that their work environment matches their philosophy. The workplace truly would inspire collaborative teamwork, creative thinking, and inspired innovations. Everyone was incredibly friendly, open, and approachable. We felt so welcome; it was great to have the open discussion at the end too to learn more about IHI, and it was awesome to see the IHI team genuinely interested in our feedback”

    “I greatly appreciated the open management structure. It was nice to see a more horizontal leadership approach outside of the textbook. From my view, openness facilitates the creative process.”

    May 30, 2012

    Bring in the Patients

    - Ginny Combs,  RNC-MN, BSN, IBCLC  Graduate Nursing Student at Worcester State University, Maternal Newborn Nurse at UMass Memorial Hospital

    Confessions: Even though I have been a maternal-newborn nurse for more than 20 years, I have little knowledge about the process of improvement and creating change. I have the passion, but not the know-how. The word “improvement” was never uttered when I went to school. Every day, I see how evidence-based practice does not reach our patients. Every conference continues to highlight the evidence, but the conversation ends there. It seems as if the research sits in books and journals waiting for us to unwrap it and “birth” it with the patients.

    Notice I wrote “with.” My first instinct was to write “for the patients,” but after my IHI time, my lens has changed. Soon, I think you’ll understand why.

    In my search for answers and knowledge about process improvement, my Worcester State University nursing department director introduced me to the IHI Open School and I felt as though I’d landed on a new and fabulous planet. And last week, I was fortunate to attend a deeply inspirational and transforming event as an IHI Open School student in New Orleans..

    The IHI Perinatal Improvement Collaborative all-team meeting gathered for three days of powerful discussions regarding improvement in perinatal systems and how to actually work on creating change!  My mind was pleasantly overwhelmed and racing with ideas. I felt like I was on fire with a “new way” that truly changed how I see health care.

    Witnessing this team of committed change agents work with perinatal groups from around the United States was one of the most empowering experiences I’ve had as a nurse and student. The IHI team, led by the inspiring Sue Gullo, walks the talk. The conference included a patient panel of mothers sharing heartfelt stories about their births and birth losses. In that large room of more than 100 people, I could feel a tilt happen. In our own ways, we all committed to putting the patient at the table with us — and always at the center of what we do.
    The mothers spoke through tears as they described what mattered to them while in the hospital. One mother shared how “it’s not what you do or say, but it is how you make us feel that matters.” Another mother bravely discussed the loss of her infant and how important the staff was to her healing. “Patience is so important, don’t rush; some things can’t ever be pushed” as she told of her need to have just one more ultrasound to know she had lost her baby girl. This mother wanted to “pay it forward” and now works with other mothers on this hospital unit who are experiencing a loss.

    The audience was tearing up and we embraced this sacred chance to learn from — and really tune into — the experience of patients and how our own actions can support or deter healing. Many in the audience nodded their heads and spoke of how those in health care can get desensitized and how vital it is to our work to bring the patient into the health care discussions. We all have either been a patient or will be one!  How different would our health care would be if patients contributed at all levels, offering wisdom through their own experience?

    As we move from students to clinical work, I’ll pass on the challenge the IHI Perinatal Team put forward at the conference: Bring in the patients. Not just as a side note, but as a real contributor for change. It got me thinking of how we can include patients in our own IHI Open School Chapter meetings. How can patients inform students regarding innovative health care ideas and healing? How might hearing the story of a mother needing just one more discussion, more time, and more compassion color our thoughts when we  often move too quickly through our tasks as health care workers? We can “birth” new health care WITH patients, not for them. Take the challenge, bring in the patients, and be ready for the change!