IHI Scholarship Recipients Share Their Experiences (2019-2020)

IHI Scholarship Recipient

IHI Scholarship Recipients Share Their Experiences (2019-2020)

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We proudly support IHI Open School Chapters at UBC, UBCO, UNBC, UVIC and SFU and provide an annual scholarship fund that supports exceptional students to attend educational events related to quality and safety. We’re thrilled to help leaders of tomorrow deepen their understanding of quality improvement and the work being done in our province by attending the Quality Forum and other improvement related events.

Below you’ll find a collection of blog articles written by students we sponsored to attend events.

Interested in learning more about the IHI Open School? Currently, there are more than 930 Open School Chapters in 93 countries. You can also start a Chapter by recruiting some like-minded students and faculty support who are passionate about creating change. Learn more.

BCPSQC & IHI Scholarship Recipient 2019-2020, Attended IHI National Forum 2019 Forum, Orlando, USA

The 2019 Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) National Forum in Orlando, Florida feels like a world away now, yet when I think back now I still feel a tremendous sense of community.

I was fortunate to be selected as the BCPSQC and IHI Open Schools Health Care Improvement Scholarship recipient for 2019. I wanted to attend the IHI National Forum to further develop the quality improvement (QI) work I was doing in Terrace, BC, and share my learning with our interdisciplinary team to improve the health and safety of our regional communities. Thinking back on the Forum, “community” comes to mind both in terms of types of QI tools I learned and as an approach to systems change at large.
The quality improvement project I was working on in northern BC was centered around the use of process mapping. We worked as a team to create a current process map that identified knowledge gaps, and then created an ideal map based on national guidelines for perioperative cardiac risk stratification for noncardiac elective surgeries. At the national forum I attended workshops on data collection and learned numerous easy-to-implements steps that could be used in any process mapping project. For example, a useful step before moderating a process mapping workshop is to ask the attendees to jot down their current understanding of the process on a piece of paper and send it in to the moderator prior to the meeting. This one action has two important results: it allows the moderator to understand team members existing knowledge in order to generate meeting questions that would target knowledge gaps, and it primes attendees to think about the process prior to attending the meeting. Another tool is to display your process mapping draft in a busy area immediately after the session and encourage folks who did not attend the meeting to fill in any information they have about the process. For instance, a hospital porter might clarify whether additional steps are required during transport between departments, which could significantly impact timing and quality of patient care.

An annual highlight of the IHI National Forum is founder Dr. Don Berwick’s keynote address. This year his message was clear: community is essential. He reminded healthcare workers that “we are not just technicians, we are defenders of human well-being,” and that we have “a duty to call what is right, right, and a duty to call what is wrong, wrong.” As a man of action, Dr. Berwick proposed a New Quality Campaign – a “campaign of morality,” with “reliable moral determinants of emotions: compassion, kindness, human solidarity, human togetherness, and love.”

#MeToo founder Ms. Tarana Burke’s keynote shared a similar call to action: “community problems deserve a community response.” In speaking of the possibility to heal and put an end to the public health crisis that is sexual violence, Ms. Burke explained how “trauma halts possibility, but action moves it.” Ms. Burke showed us that the act of healing has two parts: individual healing and community healing. She reminded us that healing is personal and that nobody else can define what healing is to you; she encouraged healthcare providers to support this healing by guiding individuals towards resources that they then choose for themselves. Community healing, on the other hand, requires “concrete and actionable objective steps,” i.e. “laws and practices.”

We are seeing these types of healing spread up around the world in response to the pandemic of COVID-19. Humans are staying home and finding alternative ways to connect with loved ones. Hearts shine from neighbourhood windows as symbols of human togetherness and love. Communities are singing and banging pots and pans nightly to celebrate those fighting for their lives and the lives of others. These are new behaviours. These are healing behaviours. These are human behaviours, powered by compassion and solidarity to fill our need for radical community healing.

The beauty of quality improvement is that the steps are practical and often intuitive. In Canada, as medical students across the country were recalled from clinical teaching, thousands stepped up to volunteer and fill perceived community needs such as manning 8-1-1 lines, creating public infographics on social distancing and quality hygiene, managing drives for personal protective equipment, and supporting local family physicians in reaching out to isolated and vulnerable patients. Whether intentional or not, these activities grew through PDSA cycles (Plan, Do, Study, Act) the building blocks of all quality improvement initiatives. While it is hard to predict if the 2020 IHI National Forum will be held this December, I know our next gathering will celebrate the many practical and innovative endeavours by our global communities that grew out of this challenging time.

BCPSQC & IHI Scholarship Recipient 2019-2020, Attended Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies Conference, Vancouver, B.C.

My name is Laura Harvey and I am a student in my third year of my distance Masters of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (MScN: FNP) degree and a member of my local rural obstetrics team. I was honored to receive the aid of BCPSQC & IHI Open Schools Health Care Quality Improvement Scholarship funding and I utilized this funding to attend the annual Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies, Innovation and Equity: The Foundations of Quality Perinatal Care in 2020 conference in Vancouver, BC. During this conference I had the opportunity to network and participate in health care quality improvement with individuals and organizations involved in perinatal health care delivery world-wide. As a result, I created plans with researchers across British Columbia to improve the current climate of local perinatal health care delivery on Salt Spring Island to initiate a site specific quality report to better inform the next steps of our current quality improvement plans. With the statistical reference of this report, healthcare providers on Salt Spring Island will have traction in the roundtable of the next steps of local quality improvement initiatives and I have improved strength and grounding in the focus of my MScN research project.

This is mind, the main thing that I am taking away from this weekend is that true health care change must be achieved through collaborative, out-of-the-box thinking. By working together and getting out of our ‘silos’ we can enable each other inter-professionally by participating in healthy dialogue and creative problem solving to create sustainable solutions that can significantly improve health outcomes for perinatal families. It was an honor this weekend to step away from my often de-humanizing computer ‘silo’, where the bulk of my research currently takes place, to better inform myself of real-time perinatal health issues and gaps that require research innovation and meet some of the amazing individuals that are doing the work! At the beginning of the weekend it was hard to form a sentence, but by the end I was re-inspired by my perinatal colleagues to keep participating in research that has the potential to create real, life-altering change for our patients, their families and their communities. And away from my computer for an extended period of time, I was able to express myself in full sentences once again and better direct my MScN project to address current gaps uncovered in perinatal mental health care through knowledge translation activities embedded throughout the weekend. As an added bonus, with my unique mode of travel, I was able to see my beautiful home and surrounding oceans from the seat of my floatplane.

I offer my extreme gratitude to the BCPSQC & IHI Open Schools Health Care Quality Improvement Scholarship for this opportunity. You will not be disappointed with the outcome that results from my participation in this weekend. I look forward to the next steps in completing my degree requirements in having had the opportunity participate in this weekend in quality improvement brainstorming.

BCPSQC & IHI Scholarship Recipient 2019-2020, Attended BCPSQC 2020 Quality Forum, Vancouver B.C

I am beyond grateful to leverage this scholarship opportunity from UBC IHI Open School Chapter and BC Patient Safety & Quality Council to attend the Quality Forum 2020, which absolutely was an eye-opening experience. Attending this event had made me further confirmed my passion for patient quality improvement and aspiring for a future career in public health.

As this year’s theme for the quality forum is “shaping success together”, I had a great time learning different strategies used to incorporate patient voice, create a culturally safe space, and support changes from an individual to a systemic level. With a passion for raising cultural awareness in healthcare delivery, I was amazed by how interdisciplinary effort can lead to better health outcomes in vulnerable populations. In particular, the rapid-fire session on “human-centered responses to opioid use disorder & overdose” had left me valuable insights. While all speakers shared their experiences working with patients who are fighting battles with opioids, the presentation given by the provincial overdose mobile response team, which provides short-term crisis intervention and psychosocial support to first responders, frontline staff and people who are impacted by the overdose emergency in BC, had made me realize the impact of the opioid crisis is much more significant than what I have thought before. While it is essential to take care of the patients, I realized our health care professionals also require support. I learned quality improvement, include everyone in the system.

Another component of the forum that I was appreciative of is learning how innovative technology is being incorporated to improve healthcare delivery. Particularly, I was amazed by the presentation done by the data science team at Surrey Memorial Hospital, where machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence are used to create tools that can identify risks for readmission, predict the length of stay in the hospital, and predict work volume for staff. With my background in human physiology and public health, I have always been curious to know how to include ML in healthcare practically. I am now interested in start learning more about ML and hope to incorporate such skills into my future research planning.

Lastly, seeing the presentation done by the Sick Boy Podcast was definitely inspiring. Looking at illness, disease, or death through a lens of humour had made me think of the purpose of quality improvement, which is really to bring happiness and improve human experiences. I am more than excited to see how I can be further involved in quality improvement in patient care. I will carry the lessons I have gained from this experience and apply them in my future career to contribute positive impacts on health care. I look forward to being actively participating in the quality forum in the future and attend from multiple perspectives, whether as a researcher or a provider.

BCPSQC & IHI Scholarship Recipient 2019-2020, Attended the IHI National Forum 2019, Orlando, USA

The 2019 IHI National Forum in Orlando, Florida was a dream come true. As the President of the IHI Open School UBC Chapter, it felt surreal once I landed in Orlando. Prior to this experience, I never had the opportunity of going to Orlando, nor Florida. It was humid, and I quickly had to take off my puffer jacket that I had brought with me from Vancouver. I had the opportunity of creating a storyboard presentation with Fatima and Neelam, and I was excited to display it. My first taste of the National Forum began early in the morning and at 7:00 AM, I was on my way to the conference. There was a sense of excitement, change, leadership and gratitude that surfaced the entire conference. Everyone was excited; just happy to be part of something larger than life. I could go on for hours recapping my every step but this essay would be far too long. Everything about this conference was amazing. I was able to attend multiple talks on the tremendous QI and PS efforts done around the world to bring meaningful change to patient’s lives. I was able to meet a variety of people including Gregory Alfaro who had been our virtual contact with the IHI Open School. Dr. Lawrence Yang was wonderful, and I loved ‘fist-bumping’ him every time I passed by. Tarana Burke and her speech regarding the “Me-Too” movement, really empowered me to think about how sexual-assault is more than just a social issue but a healthcare and patient safety one as well. The BCPSQC was wonderful and I enjoyed recapping everyday alongside them and the Doctors of BC. Dr. Raj Panjabi had one of the most creative speeches I have ever been part of, and it was amazing to see his efforts done in Africa to improve global health.

One of the bigger life-changing moments for me was during Dr. Donald Berwick’s speech on the moral determinants of health. I was truly invigorated to create change after hearing his thoughts on the importance of thinking about all aspects of care. Throughout this entire conference, I was able to see how QI is more than just PDSA cycles, more than just a project, it’s a culture; a way of living and a way of thinking that all healthcare professionals should advocate for and be part of. Overall, I had the chance of experiencing one of the most powerful conferences I have ever attended. I was able to share my own chapter knowledge and honor the BCPSQC & IHI UBC Scholarship Program by showcasing it. I was also able to further my own career by creating relationships and learning more about myself and what it means to advocate for quality and safety. I am so excited to return to the IHI National Forum in the future!

BCPSQC & IHI Scholarship Recipient 2019-2020, Attended BCPSQC 2020 Quality Forum, Vancouver, B.C.

This year the Quality Forum 2020 was held at the Hyatt Regency, downtown Vancouver from February 25th-27th. The objectives of the forum were aimed at improving quality of care, strengthening connections, sharing strategies and demonstrating the importance of hearing all voices in order to achieve a high level of health care.
I was one of the fortunate students from The University of British Columbia Okanagan to receive the BCPSQC & IHI Open Schools Health Care Improvement Scholarship. I had been highly anticipating the Forum for weeks as I was excited for the opportunity for further my education and to connect with fellow health care providers. During the welcome breakfast I connected with students from differing health care backgrounds. Although each of us had different areas of expertise, we all connected on the shared goal to expand our knowledge and improve the quality of care in our respective areas.

There were many highlights of the conference for me that included the debate showcasing patient and physician perspectives on patient access to real time health records, as well as the presentation from the “Sick Boys” podcast group. However, my field trip experience with the Vancouver Street Soccer League was the highpoint of the conference for me. This event provided us attendees the unique opportunity to engage with Vancouver’s at-risk, marginalized, and homeless population through a shared game of soccer. After taking the underground train to the soccer field, we were greeted by Robin Kehler, who explained the history of the program and shared a little bit about his experience volunteering with the weekly participants. We learned that what started out as an opportunity for Vancouver’s at-risk population to find community in sport, quickly transpired into various job opportunities and sobriety for many of the members. While stretching and warming up for the game, I connected with one of the members who openly shared their experience of many decades of polysubstance abuse and the hardships that followed. This person, now eight months into their sobriety, shared that this soccer community had saved their life. Over the course of the 2.5-hour experience, I was able to have two more conversations similar to the first. The openness and hospitality that each member showed us forum attendees was remarkable. It was evident that the soccer community was a cherished aspect of their lives. Every member welcomed us by allowing us to share this experience with them. The Forum was extremely well thought out and executed with the majority of the events following a regimented schedule however, the soccer field trip had a less structured nature. This allowed for organic conversations to occur, removing barriers that may otherwise hinder genuine connection between strangers.

As a result of my personal nursing experiences, I predominantly associate health care improvement with the hospital setting. However, after having the opportunity to connect with the at-risk population in Vancouver, I feel empowered to seek improvement opportunities in all areas of health care, including those outside of the hospital. I am beyond grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend this forum. It expanded my perspective on what quality improvement in health care currently looks like and provided me with the tools to implement these into my future practice as a Registered Nurse.

BCPSQC & IHI Scholarship Recipient 2019-2020, Attended the BCPSQ 2020 Quality Forum, Vancouver, B.C.

I am so grateful that I got to experience this amazing opportunity! The amount of collaboration and ideas in general that are happening were so inspirational to me. As someone at the beginning of my nursing career, I’m even more excited to know there are great changes that will improve the quality of care we as Healthcare Providers give. I’m also excited to know there are so many people who care about making things better and are so passionate about the steps they take for improvement. The rapid fire presentations were sensational amounts of information and provided me several throughout provoking opportunities. There were tons of opportunities to network and dive into conversations I don’t know would be possible anywhere else. This setting was packed with so many varied members of the healthcare community which furthered and added the views on conversations. I can’t even begin to explain how inspirational the Sickboy presentation was. I left there with a renewed  sense of perception on  different the illness process can be. Overall I would say this conference left me humbled and excited to attend in the future!