Friends in Healthcare Improvement

Today 5700 people gathered in Orlando to hear patient and hospital stories and explore new methods to improve healthcare around the world.   The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (www.ihi.org) is holding its annual conference.

From the IHI website:  “An independent not-for profit-organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, IHI focuses on motivating and building the will for change; identifying and testing new models of care in partnership with both patients and health care professionals; and ensuring the broadest possible adoption of best practices and effective innovations.”

The founder of IHI, Don Berwick, MD, recently completed 17 months as head of the Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS).  He is a remarkable leader who has dedicated himself to changing the way healthcare is organized and delivered—to promote health, to engage patients and families, to build skills of providers to make tomorrow’s care more effective and efficient, every day.

Joe Nocera in today’s New York Times summarizes Dr. Berwick’s impact at CMS in Berwick’s short 17 months at the agency.  Berwick led his team to deliver new regulations that promise to drive change in the near term and inspiring federal employees to make a difference.

We’ve used what we’ve learned from the IHI and its advisors in the design of Energy Stewards(®)–to link data to actions and to work to build links among users who are motivated to improve performance.

So, if you think that changing the way we use energy is a big challenge, healthcare is equally challenging.  There are folks who are tackling the way healthcare is designed and health is promoted.    These people use data to drive change and work to test what actually works.   The leaders in healthcare improvement are eager to learn every day.  They are convinced our communities can be better.

There is recent grim news about the increasing rates of carbon emissions, with sobering implications for climate change.  We certainly need to move a mountain but we have allies and colleagues in healthcare who can inspire us with effective methods to change and improve the way we do business.

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