Key Takeaways from the Institute for Health Care Improvement 2019 National Forum

By Elevate Health

In December, five Pierce County ACH representatives traveled to Orlando, Florida, to attend the annual Institute for Health Care Improvement (IHI) National Forum. The team joined 5,000 health professionals from 56 countries to exchange ideas with peers...

Clinical Improvement Team Gains Insights at IHI National Forum.

In December, five Elevate Health representatives traveled to Orlando, Florida, to attend the annual Institute for Health Care Improvement (IHI) National Forum. The team joined 5,000 health professionals from 56 countries to exchange ideas with peers and gain insights from industry leaders about how organizations and communities around the world are using quality improvement methods to create change in patient safety and care.

“With guest speakers representing foundational health agencies from all over the world, this conference was a great opportunity to learn and gain further skills in quality improvement methodology that’s being applied not only nationally, but internationally,” said Sarah Stacy, clinical improvement advisor for Pierce County ACH.

In addition to Stacy, conference-goers included Elevate Health’s CEO Alisha Fehrenbacher, clinical improvement advisors Angie Treptow and Marilena Morales.

The group spent four days hearing from industry innovators and thought leaders about new approaches to address today’s health care challenges and improving outcomes for patients and communities. Conference sessions focused on topics such as health equity, mental health and well-being, concepts and methods in improvement science, joy in the workplace, the shift from volume to value in health care, and person-centered care.

“It was great to see how other organizations are doing things differently in parts of the US where policy dictates a different approach to delivery of, and also how we can all strive for something better,” Stacy said. “There was a lot of discussion on improving and transforming relationships in the community, especially related to health equity. Tactical approaches to building stronger communities came from speakers representing philanthropic organizations to major health systems all working to address social determinants of health in their community. For Elevate Health, this is something that resonates strongly with us and hits close to home.”

A highlight, Stacy said, was an all-day session presented by East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), a publicly funded organization in the United Kingdom that provides mental health and community services to the country’s low-income population. During the session, Stacy learned how ELFT instituted a culture of continuous improvement, with an emphasis on joy in the workplace, to overhaul a struggling inpatient psychiatric care system — greatly reducing patient violence and medication errors, while improving patient outcomes.

“They completely turned around the quality of care in their psychiatric wards and saw satisfaction increase not only for patients, but also for physicians,” Stacy said. “Though ELFT is a socialized health care system, as an ACH, we can take lessons learned from them and apply it to our own methods on how we might support quality improvement and technical assistance to determine outcomes for patient care.” The event was the 30th national forum hosted by the Institute for Health Care Improvement, a worldwide leader for innovation in health and health care improvement. IHI is the chief idea generator behind the Triple Aim, the health system improvement framework on which Elevate Health built its Quadruple Aim strategy (improved provider support, better health, better care, lower costs).

“Everything we learned at the conference is value-add to our work here at Elevate Health,” Stacy said. “I left feeling inspired and clearer on how 2019 could look for Elevate Health, and more importantly, how we can better align ourselves with supporting equity in health care and shifting toward a patient-centered approach to care in our region.”

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