Photo: Don Berwick, MD
Don Berwick, MD, is a leading advocate for high-quality healthcare and is one of the top thinkers in healthcare today. He is Former Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Founding CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. NHPCO is honored to have him as the Opening Keynote at its upcoming Leadership and Advocacy Conference (March 25 – 27, 2020).
In an interview available on the IHI.org website, he describes the societal role of the Triple Aim. Here, we share part of that insightful interview:
What were the origins of the Triple Aim?
The Triple Aim was the brainchild of two of IHI’s faculty, John Whittington and Tom Nolan, who came up with it in about 2006. It was a real breakthrough.
The goal they had in mind was to articulate, in a very cogent way, the aims of health care from the viewpoint of the society it serves. You can’t define or pursue quality if you don’t know your aims. The proper way to think about goals is that they’re external to the organization, external to the industry. They lie in the world of the people we help, the customer, the patient, the consumer. So, what would society say it’s hiring health care to do? That’s the key initial question in quality.
Up until that time, the best answer would have referenced the Institute of Medicine Crossing the Quality Chasm report which had laid out six dimensions of need they called Aims for Improvement. Most people in the field now know them:
- Safety — Don’t hurt me;
- Effectiveness — Promise me science;
- Patient-centeredness — Honor me as an individual;
- Timeliness — Let’s have no delays that aren’t instrumental;
- Equity — Close racial and socioeconomic gaps in health; and
- Efficiency — Don’t waste money, space, or any other resources.
Learn why the Triple Aim continues to surprise Dr. Berwick today; find this interview online, “The Triple Aim: Why We Still Have a Long Way to Go.”
Don Berwick explains how he became interested in the work he is now doing in this brief YouTube clip that is part of the IHI Profiles in Leadership series.
As the opening keynote speaker for LAC 2020, Dr. Berwick will be drawing on the so-called “Radical Redesign Principles” for a new health care system from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Leadership Alliance. He will explain especially the first of those principles: “Change the Balance of Power,” with specific illustrations of how patients, families, and communities can take over their own care and better pursue their own health.