IHI Uses AHRQ's WebM&M in Online Curriculum for Improving Quality, Patient Safety

Patient Safety
October 2010

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School for Health Professions selected nine case studies from AHRQ's WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web) resource to launch its online curriculum that focuses on quality improvement and patient safety. The case studies, originally written to illustrate real-life examples of medical errors or near-misses, feature situations involving medication errors, non-sterile procedures, labile glucose control, and a lost Code Blue team.

The IHI Open School for Health Professions was launched in September 2008. It is the centerpiece of an initiative to support students in health-related degree programs worldwide in learning skills to improve health care quality, safety, efficiency, and access. AHRQ WebM&M was launched in 2003 as an online journal and forum on patient safety and health care quality. The Web site features expert analysis of medical errors reported anonymously by readers.

Deepa Ranganathan, Content Manager, IHI Open School for Health Professions, says, "The Open School initiative encompasses many online resources, including courses, audio conference series, and the case studies. It was immensely helpful to us to use the published case examples from AHRQ's WebM&M Web site as the foundation for our case study series."

Complementing the case studies, AHRQ's WebM&M includes succinct evaluations and discussions by prominent leaders in patient safety and health care quality for each case example. The Open School Web site includes these discussions as well as discussion questions written by students created uniquely for the IHI Open School curriculum. Subsequently, the IHI Open School faculty has written additional new case studies, expanding their collection beyond the AHRQ WebM&M library.

The IHI Open School is a free educational community and network of health care professionals in some 30 countries. The Open School seeks to foster interprofessional and interdisciplinary collaboration among students of medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, health administration, and other health professions. In addition to participating in the online curriculum, IHI Open School students support global projects, such as working to implement the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist in communities worldwide.

As of May 2010, over 30,000 WebM&M case examples have been downloaded as part of the Open School's online curriculum.

The IHI Open School Web site can be found at http://www.ihi.org/openschool

Impact Case Study Identifier: 
AHRQ Product(s): WebM&M
Topics(s): Patient Safety, Academic Curricula
Geographic Location: National
Implementer: Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Date: 10/01/2010
Page last reviewed October 2014