By R. Michelle Tyner, MS, Director, Education Strategy, ArcheMedX; Caroline O. Robinson, Ph.D., Senior Manager, Medical Education, Genentech; and Jill Erickson, MPH, RD, Director, Independent Medical Education, Medical External Affairs Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. Inc.
This past September, 204 continuing education professionals and other healthcare stakeholders returned to their work settings armed with ideas and relevant action plans after attending the inaugural Alliance Quality and Innovation Summit (QIS) 2016 at Cleveland Clinic. So, how did we get there?
In January 2016, the newly formed QIS Planning Committee met at the annual Alliance meeting. During this meeting, the committee, representing diverse member sections of the Alliance, was charged with a very specific task: Create an experience that was on the bleeding edge of innovation. The committee took this specific task to heart, and this remained a central focus through the months of planning meetings. Looking back, it is clear that many elements of QIS planning impacted the overall success of the experience.
First and foremost was the host institution: Cleveland Clinic. Sixty-eight percent of attendees reported that it was valuable to hold the meeting at an academic medical center. In addition to serving as the host, the Cleveland Clinic leaders and staff were integral in helping the committee with general planning details, engagement of thought leaders and execution of the program.
Bringing attendees to Cleveland Clinic meant there was also an opportunity for leveraging their Simulation Lab, so efforts were begun to tie this experience into the overall program. For example, figuring out how to rotate 200 attendees through the lab was going to be a challenge. When all was said and done, Cleveland Clinic engaged 30 employees from various departments to staff the lab and provided a truly immersive experience. The QIS 2016 planning committee cannot thank Director of Professional Development Steven Kawczak, Ph.D., and the Educational Institute enough for their support and partnership.
Having set a course with Cleveland Clinic and the Simulation Lab, the committee moved to identify others areas for innovation and quickly identified an opportunity to innovate through the identification and selection of keynote speakers. The planning committee was excited to invite James Stoller, MD, MS, from the Education Institute at Cleveland Clinic. His insight into quality, innovation and education would be the perfect way to start the Summit. In addition to Stoller, the committee also looked to Harry Leider, MD, MBA, FACPE, the chief medical officer and group vice president at Walgreens for the final keynote speaker. Leider’s many roles in various innovative healthcare companies would match the theme perfectly.
Beyond the inspirational keynotes, it was also apparent to the planning committee that the attendees needed to be able to immediately apply facets of what they learned during QIS 2016 when they got back to their offices. However, knowing that not everyone who attended the meeting would be involved in quality improvement programs or have access to a Simulation Lab, the planning committee balanced these sessions with innovative sessions that could be applied more broadly. And, to ensure the attendees had a specific time and place to reflect on the day’s events, moderators were trained to address the specific lessons being learned and time was intentionally built into the schedule for these periods of reflection.
To further enable the transition of learning to action, the Alliance Quality Improvement Special Interest Group (QI SIG) introduced a series of activities designed to support learners long after the conference had ended. These included developing an action plan, opportunity to practice an elevator pitch, writing a “letter to self,” and commitment to complete a follow-up survey to report back progress on action plans in the weeks to come.
Finally, the committee set its sights on innovation with a twist by hosting the QIS reception at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The reception allowed attendees to network in a very different environment than ever experienced before at an Alliance event. The success of the unique networking event is something the 2017 planning committee will be looking to replicate.
QIS 2016 was a great success, and the committee is in full-on planning mode to make QIS 2017 bigger and better than 2016. We are look forward to seeing you there!