"What Matters to You?" Day in June

Every year in early June, "What Matters to You?" Day aims to encourage and support more meaningful conversations between people who provide health and social care and the people, families, and carers who receive health and social care.

The Power of Four Words: "What Matters to You?"

​​​​​What matters to IHI is that those who work in health care understand the impact that asking, “What matters to you?” has on quality, safety, and the joy of the health care workforce.

In their 2012 New England Journal of Medicine article, Dr. Michael Barry and Susan Edgman-Levitan introduced the concept of asking, “What matters to you?” in addition to “What is the matter?” in the context of implementing shared decision making. Their ambition was to increase clinicians’ awareness of important issues in their patients’ lives that could drive customized plans of care.

IHI believes that “What Matters” is a simple, yet profound concept that is key to creating deeply personal engagements with patients and their family members, a deeper understanding of what really matters to them, and is the foundation of developing genuine partnerships for co-creating health.

By introducing this concept, Michael and Susan unlocked in health care leaders around the world the potential to solve problems that matter to their patients. The concept of "What Matters" also has a profound impact on the joy of the health care workforce.

"What Matters to You?" Day in June: Need Inspiration?

While "What matters to you?" is important to practice every day, an annual celebration of "What Matters to You?" Day is marked in early June.

Organizations all over the world have cultivated the power of "What matters to you?" Below are some resources that might help your organization celebrate "What Matters to You?" Day in June.


What Matters to You? Global Movement

What Matters to You? (Health Improvement Scotland)

What Matters to You? (BC Patient Safety and Quality Council)

Stories by In Search of Mangomoments

Video clip: "11-Year-Old Girl Grants Wishes to Nursing Home Residents"

"What Matters" to Older Adults? A Toolkit for Health Systems to Design Better Care with Older Adults​ (IHI Age-Friendly Health Systems)

"What Matters to You?" Conversation Guide for Improving Joy in Work (IHI)

Maureen Bisognano: How WMTY Started (Danish Society for Patient Safety)


Internal Reflections: "What Matters" in Our Work at IHI

In honor of "What Matters to You?" Day, IHI asked our teams to consider what mattered in the work we are doing across North America. We are pleased to see the message of “What Matters” permeating our work. Learn more >>

Maureen Bisognano: What Matters to You Matters to Me (Danish Society for Patient Safety)

Examples of "What Matters" in Different Settings

The videos below provide examples of the impact of "What Matters" for patients in different clinical settings and for the health care workforce.

​Clinical Examples: Asking "WHAT MATTERS?" in Different Care Settings


Asking "What Matters to You?" Is a Powerful Question in End-of-Life Care


How Asking Staff "What Matters to You?" Improves Joy in Work