Safety, Equity, and Improvement Science Take Center Stage at 28th Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & ORLANDO, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#IHI–In his first National Forum keynote as President and CEO of the Institute
for Healthcare Improvement
(IHI), Derek Feeley focused on a topic
that has been central to the organization’s mission and work since its
founding: patient safety and the necessity for all health care systems
to remain focused on reducing harm. Feeley addressed nearly 5,000 health
care professionals, health leaders, students, patient advocates, and
community improvers in Orlando at the 28th Annual National Forum on
Quality Improvement in Health Care. He argued for a more ambitious
approach to patient safety, which would include broadening the safety
lens to consider the millions of patients impacted by inequities in
care, and by indignities in care.

Feeley remarked: “Thanks to years of hard work by doctors, nurses,
leaders, and many, many improvers on the frontlines of care, we now know
that certain types of harm can be eliminated. We must apply that same
ambition and rigor to driving out all the harms patients suffer
needlessly, including those resulting from the absence of equity and
lack of respect. This requires not just focusing on what actions need to
be avoided, but what needs to be done right.” Feeley added that
culture change, continuous learning, and looking at safety as a system
that links settings across the continuum of care are necessary to
further progress. He also identified opportunities to better engage
patients and families in ensuring that care is as safe as it can be.

A leader in health and health care improvement worldwide, IHI has
convened the four-day event (December 4-7, 2016) to showcase multiple
fronts where improvers are driving new approaches to achieve better
care, better health, and lower cost for patients and populations. These
strategies include working to reduce disparities and improve health
equity; creating community partnerships that extend beyond the walls of
the health care system to address more upstream determinants of health;
and tapping into the talents and knowledge of students and patients to
co-create new models of care.

While the recent US presidential election and the future of the
Affordable Care Act were very much on people’s minds, the National Forum
continues to offer the improvement community a way to stay focused on
transformations that need to occur no matter what. Feeley says having a
common purpose matters.

“There’s no question that health reform at the national level is about
to face some major challenges,” stated Feeley. “This reality makes IHI
more determined than ever to work closely with our partners and
colleagues to demonstrate the positive changes that are possible
and to stay the course, especially during times of uncertainty. We have
a particular responsibility to those who lack access to care or who
experience inequity or social injustice. Together, we must make
care better, populations healthier, and costs more affordable.”

Feeley shared the podium with Abraham Verghese, MD, a nationally
bestselling author and a prominent voice in medicine with a uniquely
humanistic view of the future of health care in his role as Senior
Associate Chair, Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Verghese
spoke about the importance of empathy in patient care. Additional
speakers at this year’s Forum include NASA astronaut Captain Scott
Kelly; IHI Senior Fellow and President Emeritus, Dr. Don Berwick; and a
team of clinicians and leaders from Orlando Health, detailing stories
and insights about mass trauma events and caring for injured patients,
following the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

New approaches to system measurement

A number of Forum sessions this year spotlight measurement – a subject
of high interest to attendees given the heavy burden faced by health
care systems to collect, review, and report on hundreds of measures
aligned with safety initiatives and payment programs that increasingly
reward value and quality outcomes over volume or frequent utilization of
care. Sessions such as “D29/E29: Applying Meaningful Measurement in
Health and Health Care” aim to ease the measurement burden by offering
guidance on which measures are truly necessary, which might be
eliminated, and how to ensure that measures that matter are tracked,
analyzed, and transparently used to improve care, not just to satisfy

To help address these changing dynamics, a recently published IHI
White Paper
Whole System Measures 2.0: A Compass for Health
System Leaders
– offers health care system leaders and boards a new
set of 15 measures grouped together for the first time under the broad
domains of health, experience of care, and per capita cost, or the IHI
Triple Aim. The goal of WSM 2.0 is to help those at the helm better
understand how to deliver better care to patients in conjunction with
improving the health of the communities where they reside.

Improving quality and safety, addressing health inequities

In collaboration with like-minded organizations, communities, and
individuals, IHI applies improvement methods and tools to reduce unjust,
costly, and persistent inequities in health and health care. At this
year’s Forum, health equity is a major theme headlining some 15 sessions
– including ones on reducing unconscious bias in decision making,
advancing health care for the transgender community, and addressing
patients’ social needs as a standard part of quality care.

Over the course of the Forum, attendees will hear about a wide range of
outstanding work being done to improve the quality and safety of health
care in the US and abroad, with more than 100 sessions covering topics
such as identifying ethical issues in quality improvement, understanding
top health IT safety hazards, making a better resident experience, and
engaging harmed patients for healing and safety. More than 600
improvement storyboards will also be on display, including a significant
number that reflect improvement initiatives launched by students in the
health professions from all over the world who are active in IHI’s Open

About the Institute for Healthcare Improvement

IHI is a leader in health and health care improvement worldwide. For
more than 25 years, we have partnered with visionaries, leaders, and
front-line practitioners around the globe to spark bold, inventive ways
to improve the health of individuals and populations. Recognized as an
innovator, convener, trustworthy partner, and driver of results, we are
the first place to turn for expertise, help, and encouragement for
anyone, anywhere who wants to change health and health care profoundly
for the better. To advance our mission, IHI’s work is focused in five
key areas: Improvement Capability; Person- and Family-Centered Care;
Patient Safety; Quality, Cost, and Value; and Triple Aim for
Populations. Learn more at


CXO Communication
Sandy George, 617-413-6126