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SMU to Form Institute for Health Care Improvement (IHI) Open School Chapter

Terry Nordstrom, Assistant Academic Vice-President and Associate Professor; Karen Wolf, Professor, School of Nursing; and Mike Negrete, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs presented Students Leading Change in Healthcare to Improve Quality & Safety, Tuesday, March 18, at the Community Learning Series event.

Dozens of students and faculty members attended the presentation about the Institute for Health Care Improvement (IHI) Open School and SMU's plans to form an IHI Open School Chapter.

The IHI Open School offers students free online courses that teach the foundations of improvement, safety, system design, and leadership. Open School courses are also available to health care organizations and professionals for an annual fee. The IHI Open School has 200,000 members in more than 65 countries. Since 2008, the IHI Open School program has provided students in all of the health professions with the opportunity to advance health care improvement and patient safety competencies in the next generation of health professionals worldwide.

By joining an IHI Open School Chapter, students will learn from, with, and about one another in an interprofessional environment.

During the presentation, Negrete shared national statistics about preventable medical errors that lead to death every year.

"Eighty percent of those errors are due to inadequate communications," said Wolf.

Nordstrom mentioned the recent partnership with Allen Temple Baptist Church as an example of what kind of outreach an IHI Open Chapter can provide. The goal is to provide students an opportunity to widen their skill sets in order to change healthcare.

According to Nordstrom, next steps include meeting with students and faculty at the Sacramento Learning Center, SF Peninsula Learning Center, and registering the group with the IHI.