I’m excited to be returning to Doha next month for the 2014 Middle East Forum on Quality and Safety in
Healthcare (April 25-27). I was in Qatar several months ago to speak at the
country’s first National Patient Safety Awareness Week, and what I observed
during my trip was much more than just a growing awareness about quality and
safety. In clinician after clinician, I saw a genuine, demonstrated passion for
improving care. In leaders, I saw that same passion and also an understanding of
their crucial role in creating both the infrastructure, and the will, to
support and drive meaningful change. The importance of this leadership duty is
reflected in the theme of this year’s Middle East Forum: “Empowering Patient
There is such great progress being made in the region. Our
faculty recently visited a geriatric unit that had gone 180 days without a
single pressure ulcer. They also visited a hospital that had gone 400 days
since the last ventilator-associated pneumonia, and 300 days since the last
central-line-associated bloodstream infection. Even more impressive is the
unprecedented level of engagement our faculty is seeing, from leadership to the
front line, in the work of improving care.
At IHI’s offices, we have a quote on the wall from one of
the founding fathers of quality improvement, W. Edwards Deming – it says,
“Quality is everyone’s responsibility.” One of IHI’s most important successes
in the last 25 years is helping health care organizations all over the world
understand that quality is not something that’s the responsibility of one
person or one department. Achieving meaningful and lasting change requires
contributions from everyone, regardless of title and regardless of role. That’s
why gatherings like the Middle Eastern Forum are so important and so effective
– there’s something for everyone. A quick
look at this year’s program reveals the full range of knowledge and
expertise about improving quality and safety. As we say at IHI: “all teach, all
The importance of this comprehensive approach to improvement
is why the theme of the Middle Eastern Forum resonates with me so much.
Empowering improvement is about empowering people. And not just by providing
the latest, most innovative, and most successful approaches, but also through
creating structures and processes through which everyone with a passion for
improvement can become a forceful agent of change.
This past December, IHI hosted its
25th annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care.
The last 25 years have been an extraordinary journey, and I’m excited to be
part of a new journey in the Middle East. I look forward to seeing everyone at
the Middle East Forum.