Skip navigation
This website has now been upgraded. To access the new site, visit

Reviews of IHI Open School courses


Have you recently taken one of the IHI Open School courses?
We'd love to hear from you! Contact and submit your short review!
Course overview: When you think of a leader, what comes to mind? A president? A CEO? No matter what your position or formal title is, you can be a leader. In this course, you’ll zoom in on a hospital that’s having some trouble with infection control. As you grapple with this case, you’ll learn that leadership isn’t a position of authority—it’s an action. You’ll learn how to persuade different types of people and build enough unity to move forward. Finally, you’ll learn how to measure your effectiveness as a leader.
Sadie Young, 1st year Nursing student, Glamorgan University reviews:
At first, I approached this module with slight trepidation, concerned that it was designed for training managerial and executive roles. I was, however, pleasantly surprised. The module that appeared was informative, practical and applicable at all levels within healthcare (even for students).
In the spirit of pursuing evidence-based practice it was pleasing to note that the points being delivered were grounded in professional studies. Whilst occasionally complex, the theoretical aspects of leadership were explored effectively through a case study that was revisited several times in the module. The use of video clips throughout the study was engaging and discussion boards were prevalent to allow for ideas to be voiced with other students. At the end of each section, a multiple choice quiz helped to reinforce the information delivered.
You come away from the module understanding the role of a leader, and more importantly, knowing that every individual has the ability to lead and be heard. L101 is essentially a valuable handbook of tools and ideas for those working within (or hoping to enter) the healthcare profession. This toolkit prepares you for reacting to situations that may be problematic and helps to train you in how to take proactive steps to resolve the issue, all with the intention of benefitting the patient.
Ben Cosway, 5th year medical student, Cardiff University reviews:
We’ve all been there; cornered by a disillusioned health professional reciting their latest monologue about the how the NHS is going to pot. Yet when you simply ask, ‘what are you doing about it?’ you get nothing but a blank stare.
The IHI leadership module gives you all the tools you need to take charge and lead change. Being a leader is not about having a fancy title or a few letters afters your name; it’s about doing. It’s about spotting a problem and acting to change it.
So whether you are a Consultant Surgeon or a 1st year healthcare student; you really can make change for the better. Start leading the way today!

Course overview: No one embarks on a health care career intending to harm patients. But much too often, patients die or suffer injuries from the care they receive. In this course, you’ll learn why becoming a student of patient safety is critical for everyone involved in health care today. First, you’ll learn about the human and financial toll of medical error around the world. Next, you’ll learn the basics of the psychology of error and try your hand at identifying unsafe acts in real health care cases. Finally, you’ll learn five essential behaviors that any health care worker can adopt right away to improve the safety of patients.
Sadie Young reviews:
PS100 does what it sets out to do: raises awareness of the impact of medical error and develops your understanding of why error happens and how to prevent it. Initially, I was quite daunted by the extensive list of potential dangers within healthcare and began to question how safe practice could ever be with so many potential pitfalls. I also questioned my own ability to avoid all of the possible dangers whilst practicing.
However, as the module continued I began to feel better and I started to understand the fascination with paperwork within healthcare. Those seemingly endless policies and procedures that dominate the healthcare arena are system reactions to human error. PS100 demonstrates that whilst individuals are responsible for their actions, an individual alone cannot eradicate human error. A systems based approach is advocated through the module and you begin to understand the complex layers of responsibility within a healthcare organisation and how each element has to work independently and as part of a whole in order to provide safe care for the patient.
The message is simple and accessible and once again the guidelines provided within this module are applicable to all levels of practice.  I found the 5 critical behaviours to improve safety to be particularly useful, and am already endeavouring to employ them in my own practice whilst on placement.
Marianne Durell, 3rd year Physiotherapy student, Cardiff University reviews:
This course provided a great addition to my CPD folder to highlight my knowledge of patient "health, safety and security" - particularly relevant for band 5 KSF physiotherapists as well as other healthcare professionals!
The three part course gave useful tips and advice regarding how the individual can impact upon improving patient safety. Each section had video links, which made the material more interesting and easy to digest and there was a small quiz at the end of each section that needed to be passed in order to complete the course and receive a printable certificate. The course was a really useful tool as it made me aware of the importance of following policies and procedures in order to prevent potentially live threatening mistakes.  It also highlighted the complexity of working within healthcare and that medical errors are often the fault of various systems rather than the individual.
This course has given me advice and tips that I am sure to carry over to my practice and I was grateful to have some new material to reflect upon and add to my CPD folder!

Course overview: As long as human beings provide health care, mistakes and errors will occur. However, health care providers can reduce the likelihood of such mistakes and errors, and limit their impact, by fostering a “culture of safety.” This is an environment that encourages people to speak up about safety concerns, makes it safe to talk about mistakes and errors, and encourages learning from these events. How providers can create and foster a culture of safety is the focus of this course.
Amy Nixon, 3rd year Nursing student, Cardiff University reviews:
PS106 is so relevant to students, and explores real issues that many are likely to come across. There are plently of safety and professional guidelines we have to learn religiously, but I think its safe to say many don't know how to uphold them in practice. As a nurse, it really made me consider my duty of care to the patient, and even highlighted incidents in my training which I now realise I could have had more input with. I'm sure my fellow nursing students could think of a time when they were dying to raise a concern, but just didn't know how without seeming disrespectful to more senior staff.
It gave practical and realistic advice for promoting a 'safe culture', and a sharp reminder of what, as students and qualified professionls, we should expect in a work environment. It has actually made me feel more valued as a student - after all, we are part of a multidiscplinary team wherever we work on placement and we are dealing with real people. I would hope that the attitudes of psychological safety, fairness, leadership and transparency are acknowledged as standard across the clinical setting - and if they weren't, I would know how to begin raising the question as to why they were not.
Conclusion: I would definitely recommend this course to any other healthcare students! The course was really easy to understand, although the lessons were talking about potentially complex subject matter. The videos were succint and didn't send me to sleep! The opportunity to post your own thoughts on the discussion board after different sections encouraged me to think - it didn't matter what profession you were from, it was applicable to all. It was also nice to see other people's thoughts.

Course overview: Serious errors occur at the best hospitals and clinics – despite the best efforts of talented and dedicated providers. As the Institute of Medicine (IOM) declared in 2001, in words that still ring true, “Between the health care we have and the care we could have lies not just a gap, but a chasm.” This course launches you on your journey to becoming a health care change agent. First, you’ll get a sense of the scope of the problem, from an up-close and personal look at a wrong-site surgery at a major academic hospital… to a high-level picture of the current quality of care in the US and around the world. Then you’ll begin to work on a solution to the problem, using the roadmap for change offered by the Institute of Medicine’s six aims for improvement – and a theory of how to change systems.
Lauren Wareing, 4th year medical student, Cardiff University reviews:
I found the Q101 course an extremely valuable resource.  It highlighted the fact that the health service is a system, with many variables that affect patient outcomes.  As a medical student, I find that I am often daunted by the prospect of the responsibility I will have for my patients’ wellbeing when I qualify.  I found that this course did an excellent job of underlining the fact that ‘a well designed system would make it easy to do the right thing and impossible to do the wrong thing’. 
As healthcare students, there will come a time for all of us when we will become a part of ‘the system’.  It is emphasised that as a part of this team, when an error occurs, whether harm occurs or not, blame cannot be placed on an individual but is down to a failure of the system as a whole.  I found this to be reassuring as the course illustrated the many stages in ‘the system’ at which interventions can occur in order to prevent errors from happening.
I feel that this course is entirely relevant to students as it was constructive in raising awareness of quality control issues.  I think that it showed the importance of thinking outside the box, and not becoming blinkered into thinking that there is only one way to do something, particularly if the system has flaws.

Last updated: 08/08/2011