... but if he leaves

Qual­ity ex­ec­u­tives ex­pect lit­tle change at IHI

Modern Healthcare - - The Week In Healthcare - Mau­reen McKin­ney

I f Pres­i­dent Barack Obama of­fi­cially nom­i­nates Don­ald Ber­wick, 63, to lead the CMS as ex­pected, some are won­der­ing what that choice would mean for the fu­ture of the In­sti­tute for Health­care Im­prove­ment.

Ber­wick, pres­i­dent, CEO and co-founder of the Cam­bridge, Mass.-based not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, is ar­guably one of the most prom­i­nent leaders in the qual­ity-im­prove­ment and pa­tient-safety move­ment. Un­der his di­rec­tion, the IHI spear­headed the widely pub­li­cized 100,000 Lives Cam­paign and the 5 Mil­lion Lives Cam­paign, two ini­tia­tives aimed at curb­ing the num­ber of pre­ventable deaths from med­i­cal harm.

Michael Cruz, vice pres­i­dent of qual­ity and safety at 573-bed OSF St. Fran­cis Med­i­cal Cen­ter, Peo­ria, Ill., cred­its the IHI with help­ing the hospi­tal im­prove its pro­cesses and aid other or­ga­ni­za­tions. OSF St. Fran­cis par­tic­i­pated in the 5 Mil­lion Lives Cam­paign as a men­tor site for pres­sure ul­cers and pro­vided guid­ance to hos­pi­tals try­ing to achieve bet­ter re­sults.

Cruz said he thought that Ber­wick’s nom­i­na­tion would sig­nif­i­cantly af­fect the IHI and that the or­ga­ni­za­tion would in­evitably feel the loss. Still, he said, there are other tal­ented peo­ple on­board and it will likely con­tinue to be a valu­able re­source.

Oth­ers echoed that sen­ti­ment. “Dr. Ber­wick is the poet lau­re­ate of the qual­ity and pa­tient-safety move­ment, and he is an in­spi­ra­tion to all of us,” said Leah Binder, CEO of the Leapfrog Group, a health­care qual­ity or­ga­ni­za­tion formed by large em­ploy­ers. “I imag­ine he is very in­stru­men­tal to their suc­cess, but hav­ing said that, he is also a good man­ager, and good man­agers make sure there are peo­ple there to take the lead when they leave.”

Brian Koll, med­i­cal di­rec­tor for in­fec­tion con­trol and chief of epi­demi­ol­ogy at 1,051-bed Beth Is­rael Med­i­cal Cen­ter, New York, said: “The IHI is not just about Dr. Ber­wick, it’s about the pro­gram, and it will con­tinue as peo­ple move on.”

Koll also pre­dicted pa­tient-safety ad­vo­cates such as Peter Pronovost, di­rec­tor of the Qual­ity & Safety Re­search Group at Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity, Bal­ti­more, and Lu­cian Leape, chair­man of the Lu­cian Leape In­sti­tute at the Na­tional Pa­tient Safety Foun­da­tion, Bos­ton, will con­tinue to push the move­ment for­ward.

The IHI’s re­cent im­prove­ment ini­tia­tives have made it even more ac­ces­si­ble to

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