Fourteen years ago, Don Berwick, a doctor and CEO of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) set out to make a big change in healthcare. On December 14, 2004 he addressed a room full of hospital administrators and said, "I think we should save 100,000 lives. And I think we should do that by June 14, 2006".
Eighteen months later he stood on that stage again to announce that 122,300 lives had been saved as part of the campaign. Not only is this an example of the tremendous capacity for change in healthcare, it's also an example of how collectively healthcare organizations and professionals can achieve sustained empowerment and improvement.
The only question that remains is where can we make that change happen next?
In the past decade, the healthcare industry has moved way beyond the traditional way of delivering healthcare. With emerging trends such as virtual home care, patients can essentially pick the way they’d like to receive care, which brings forth the question, “how are patients navigating the health care system?” Patients truly value a personal relationship with their physician. They also rely on trusted sources of information in considering treatment options and selecting a health care provider. Most of all, they look to build a mutual level of respect between them and their provider. So what opportunities for change can we explore here?
It’s no argument that technology can play a significant role in changing the future of healthcare. However, it’s not always easy getting the buy-in from leadership for that change. Technological changes aren’t just categorized as going “paperless” but can contribute to better reporting, effective communication efforts and enhanced patient experience. Patients are continuously advocating for the use of modern technology to make their health care experience better. Just like any change, technological advances although may streamline many processes face obstacles from various parties. Nevertheless, there is still a strong demand for it as we continue to improve the way healthcare is delivered.
You’ve worked so hard to make a big change in your organization and it would be a shame to see all that progress disappear. Change-makers understand that making the change for improvement isn’t enough; one needs to be able to build systems that sustain improvement. Although, where does one start? A journey for change doesn't have to be trekked alone. Luckily for us, IHI has worked with a few organization and offered key insights on how to sustain improvement following a change. Learn how to start small and build up for larger changes that lead to sustaining improvement. For additional information, check out the Sustaining Improvement whitepaper offered by the IHI.