213343 Improving quality as the lever for health care reform

Monday, November 9, 2009: 8:50 AM

Donald Berwick, MD, MPP , Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Cambridge, MA
American health care as it currently operates is unsustainable incompatible with either a healthy public or a healthy economy. Trapped in the status quo, we seem to face a lose-lose choice: either limit care so as to achieve affordability, or pour ever more of our social resources into care to avoid grappling with limitations. That is a false choice, which ignores a third, and far better option: change the system of care delivery and health production to one focused on excellence, value, health, and efficiency. What such a system should look like is not a mystery; indeed, examples already exist both within and outside our nation. The barriers are those of social will and insufficient leadership for change.

Learning Objectives:
Describe sources of excess cost and waste in the health care system. Describe changes that can help a health care system both reduce cost and improve quality at the same time. Evaluate policy changes with respect to their ability to foster integrated care.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am president of a healthcare quality research and education organization.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.