IHI Convenes 32nd Annual Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care

Leaders and clinical improvers gather virtually to share new ideas and evidence-based approaches to improve population health and health equity

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#COVID19–The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) has kicked off its annual Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care, taking place December 6-9, 2020. This year’s virtual gathering continues IHI’s 32-year tradition of convening health and health care professionals, patients, and patient advocates from across settings, disciplines, and geographies to learn, collaborate, and improve together. Against the backdrop of a global pandemic and a divided United States, now more than ever the IHI Forum serves as an important opportunity for improvers to share transformative work and seek science-driven approaches to improve health and health care for all.

In the United States and globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified longstanding inequities, exacerbating distrust in health care institutions and politicizing evidence-based public health measures. In his opening keynote address this morning, IHI President and CEO Dr. Kedar Mate urged the online audience to reject the “false choices we’re being presented between our prosperity and our health.” He argued that this kind of flawed “either/or” thinking worsens the divisiveness that plagues our discourse and decision-making, and that polarization “obscures the value of cooperation when our global moment demands exactly that.” To navigate the current course of the pandemic while creating a better future, Dr. Mate encourages an approach that targets and responds to the needs of the most vulnerable, creating value for both the disadvantaged and advantaged.

Eliminating inequities in health and health care is a major theme of this year’s gathering. It is the subject of 10 Forum workshops, including sessions about addressing health-related social needs and care delivery to advance health equity during COVID-19; understanding the role of health care organizations in improving equity in their communities; co-designing respectful maternal care for black women; and examining lessons learned from ingraining and deploying an equity framework as a foundational pillar within a health care system.

In addition, attending the IHI Forum are health care organizations participating in the new Learning and Action Network within IHI’s Pursuing Equity initiative, which aims to reduce inequities in health and health care access, treatment, and outcomes by implementing comprehensive strategies to create and sustain equitable health systems. The network, funded in part by the Novartis US Foundation and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, kicked off with 24 teams that are committed to implementing the five components presented in the IHI framework, Achieving Health Equity: A Guide for Health Care Organizations: making health equity a strategic priority; building infrastructure to support health equity; addressing the multiple determinants of health; eliminating racism and other forms of oppression; and partnering with the community to help them reach full health potential.

Additional Forum tracks include Patient Safety; Leadership; Person-Centered Care; Joy and Well-being in Work; Improvement Science; Addressing Value, Cost, and Quality; COVID-19; and Population Health.

Celebrating milestones in population health

Learnings and results from the 100 Million Healthier Lives movement, an unprecedented collaboration of global change agents that together are working to fundamentally transform the way the world thinks and acts about health, well-being and equity, will be the focus of two Forum workshops, “A14: From Community Benefit to Community Well-Being: Lessons from 100MLives on Addressing Social Determinants of Health and Advancing Equity” and “D12: Building Communities of Improvers for Population Health and Equity: Lessons from Housing and Education.” In addition, Rosanne Haggerty, President and CEO of Community Solutions, a nonprofit working to end homelessness, and a 100 Million Healthier Lives partner, will deliver this afternoon’s keynote address.

Convened in late 2014 by IHI with support from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the 100 Million Healthier Lives initiative has reached 500 million people across 30 countries through projects that target intractable challenges standing in the way of achieving health, well-being, and equity – such as chronic illness, education, homelessness, and food insecurity. In the months ahead, the movement will continue to help build capacity and capability for community-level transformation by distilling and disseminating results and lessons learned from 5 years of work – via online learning modules, case studies, and reports.

Recognizing over 1,000 Age-Friendly Health Systems

Leaders and clinical improvers throughout hospitals, office practices, convenient care clinics, and nursing homes are using the 4Ms Framework of an Age-Friendly Health System as a guide for improving the care of older adults. In Forum session, “B12: Becoming Age-Friendly: Frameworks and Tools from the Field” Forum attendees can hear from several organizations about their experiences adopting, adapting, and advancing the 4Ms (asking What Matters to older adults, Medication, Mentation, and Mobility) across inpatient and outpatient care settings. The insights come from the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement, an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and IHI in partnership with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA).

This year, the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement is thrilled to announce the achievement of its goal to rapidly spread the 4Ms Framework to 1,000 health care locations by the end of 2020. As of December 4, 1,195 care locations (including hospitals, practices, convenient care clinics, and nursing homes) have been recognized as age-friendly — 1,195 have earned level 1 (participant) recognition by developing plans to implement the 4Ms; of those, 432 have reached level 2 (Committed to Care Excellence) recognition, which requires three months of data on the number of older adults receiving 4Ms care. Interested health systems can join the movement through the Do It Yourself pathway or by taking part in an Age-Friendly Action Community. Participants of the next Action Community, starting March 2021, will help accelerate the movement toward its next goal — to impact 2,600 sites of care by June 2023.

About the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is an independent not-for-profit organization based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. For more than 25 years, IHI has used improvement science to advance and sustain better outcomes in health and health systems across the world. IHI brings awareness of safety and quality to millions, catalyzes learning and the systematic improvement of care, develops solutions to previously intractable challenges, and mobilizes health systems, communities, regions, and nations to reduce harm and deaths. IHI collaborates with a growing community to spark bold, inventive ways to improve the health of individuals and populations. IHI generates optimism, harvests fresh ideas, and supports anyone, anywhere who wants to profoundly change health and health care for the better. Learn more at ihi.org.


Joanna Clark, CXO Communication

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