WIHI: Improving Health Care: The Global View

Date: July 7, 2011


  • Lord Nigel Crisp, Strategic Advisor on Global Health and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement; Author, Turning the World Upside Down: The Search for Global Health in the 21st Century
  • Pierre Barker, MD, Senior Vice President for IHI improvement initiatives in South Africa, Ghana, Malawi, and India
  • Pedro Delgado, MSc, Executive Director for IHI large-scale health system improvement efforts in Europe and Latin America

Health care improvers in the US have so much on their plates these days, it can seem like a luxury to focus on what’s happening in other countries. That’s unfortunate because health care improvement has become a global endeavor, and nations of all sizes and stages of development are confronting strikingly similar issues.

These include how to care for aging populations, how to give individuals the tools to be shared decision makers and managers of their chronic conditions, and how to design systems that optimize communication and coordination across the continuum of care. Also, how to take advantage of the resourcefulness patients and communities themselves bring to the table.

On any given day, improvers on several continents are taking part in collaboratives and applying improvement methods to increase cancer screenings, improve maternal and child health, track the days a hospital’s ICU is infection-free, and more. The riches of new ideas and innovations now come as equally from South Africa as South Carolina… as generously from Jonkoping, Sweden, as Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Lord Nigel Crisp, Dr. Pierre Barker, and Pedro Delgado join WIHI host Madge Kaplan to discuss the maturing work in Ghana and South Africa, new improvement initiatives in Latin America, and what Nigel Crisp meant when he titled his recent book, Turning the World Upside Down.

There isn’t a country, anywhere, that can afford to stand still when it comes to rising health care costs, and this creates a tremendous opening for the international improvement community to demonstrate what’s possible when the focus shifts to quality, safety, and overall population health.


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