On the one-year anniversary of 100 Million Healthier Lives, Maureen Bisognano, IHI President and CEO, and Derek Feeley, IHI Executive Vice President, offer their congratulations and acknowledge the tremendous progress, energy, and commitment of those working together to achieve the goal of 100 million people living healthier lives by 2020.
Maureen Bisognano (left) and Derek Feeley (right)
We congratulate 100 Million Healthier Lives on the amazing progress made in the past year. IHI is grateful to everyone who has been on this journey with us, helping us expand our perspective on how to improve health, as well as health care. Whether you are a SCALE community, a federal leader, a business or social sector leader, an individual change agent on the ground, or a support organization, we are thrilled to be learning our way with you to improving health, wellbeing, and equity.
In thinking about the journey ahead, we reflected on our own path toward improved health and wellbeing for individuals, communities, and populations. When IHI started its work more than 25 years ago, our focus was on improving quality and patient safety in health care. Though there is much left to do, together we’ve made incredible progress. Eight years ago, IHI started thinking about a framework that would enable health care organizations to improve not only the quality and safety of care delivery, but also to improve health and wellbeing, and to reduce the costs associated with health care. This became the Triple Aim, and as we began to engage organizations in improving the experience of care, improving the health of a population, and reducing per capita costs, we realized that health care can only do so much. We need to continue to improve quality and safety in health care. However, improving health to prevent the need for health care (and the associated costs) by improving care and addressing the social determinants of health is an essential element of the path forward. So, in many ways the Triple Aim has become a framework for us to think about addressing all the determinants of health. It is clear that doing so requires a broad collaboration that extends far beyond the walls of health care, and far beyond the walls of IHI.
An example of this kind of collaboration can be seen in Scotland’s Early Years Collaborative. After successfully applying the methods and tools of improvement to dramatically improve the safety of health care in Scotland, leaders there decided to use the same methods and tools to pursue the ambitious aim of making Scotland the best place for any child to grow up. These leaders immediately set about engaging and creating relationships with every sector of society — social care, housing, policing, education, and others. The success of this initiative hinges on everyone coming together around a shared aim, and recognizing that only by working together can this aim be reached.
At IHI, we wanted to take the lessons we learned in our work, and the lessons from our friends and partners, and leverage them to pursue the Triple Aim for everyone. We knew that what we’ve all been doing wouldn’t be enough. After all, “every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.” So we started with a metaphor – Escape Velocity – that described the need to break free of the gravitational pull of the status quo. We developed a vision to fundamentally transform the way the world thinks about, and acts to improve, health and wellbeing. As we engaged with individuals and organizations outside of health care who already were working to improve health, we realized we needed something bigger than a project, bigger than an initiative… what we needed was a movement. That movement is 100 Million Healthier Lives.
We started by doing one of the things we think IHI does best: we convened. We reached out to our partners who helped us prototype the Triple Aim. We reached out to new partners – ones with direct experience in improving health. And with the help of an initial guiding coalition, we convened more than 200 individuals and organizations for a multi-day meeting to launch this new movement. On October 8, 2014, at 2:52pm, everyone in the room made a commitment: Together, we would help 100 million people live healthier lives by 2020. The energy in the room that day was palpable. There was a real sense that all of us there had catalyzed something that was far bigger, and far more impactful, than anything each of us could accomplish alone.
One year on, that energy has only intensified. To date, 648 member organizations and individuals are working on the ground to improve health; 189 partners are ready to play a leadership role; members have designed and submitted 537 action plans; and in the United States alone, members and partners reach more than 100 health care organizations, more than 200 communities, and more than 100 million people. The movement is growing and gathering momentum.
We are so proud of the role IHI has had the privilege to play in helping convene and launch 100 Million Healthier Lives. And we are humbled by the spirit, the generosity, the passion, and the commitment the members of this movement are demonstrating each and every day. We are a stronger organization because we are part of this global effort. As we approach the one-year anniversary of the launch, we want to thank and congratulate everyone who has played a part, and who will play a part, in achieving our collective goal of 100 million people living healthier lives by 2020. The journey has just begun!