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On the Move for Patients Who Need Us Most

By Kimberly Mitchell | Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"I am moved by the story from each organization – a story of deep caring for their most complex patients; a story of desire to build care systems that better meet their needs; a story of humility in the face of the challenges their patients face and that they face in caring for them," says IHI Director Cory Sevin, about the organizations participating in the Better Health and Lower Costs for Patients with Complex Needs Collaborative.

CorySevin

The Better Health and Lower Costs for Patients with Complex Needs Collaborative (BHLC) kicked off on July 10 with a Prework call. Over the past months, I have had the honor of speaking with close to 100 organizations across the United States, Canada, and New Zealand who were interested in the Collaborative. I am moved by the story from each organization – a story of deep caring for their most complex patients; a story of desire to build care systems that better meet their needs; a story of humility in the face of the challenges their patients face and that they face in caring for them. I am also so inspired by the desire, creativity, and innovation in the organizations joining the Collaborative.
 
We have health plans creatively partnering with their primary care practices; community-based coalitions driving system change; an IPA supporting their members in re-thinking care for their most complex patients; large, integrated systems striving to align resources and interventions to benefit their patients; Federally Qualified Health Centers leading creative partnerships with payers and many others. The human drive that I heard on each call, from each organization, to do better for their most vulnerable patients was what moved me so deeply. The need to develop care systems that drive lower costs, a necessary component of this work, was also present, but in service of better care for people.
 

Patient Interaction

Sometimes the business side of health care seems to overwhelm the human side, and the daily grind of work in busy, complex environments can get discouraging. Yet, each of us has moments every day in which the human connections and interactions touch our sense of purpose and propel us forward. The new promise and new source of energy, creativity, and innovation is a deeper understanding of the needs of patients to design systems to better meet those needs. In efforts like the BHLC and others around the world, we are proactively going after patient-driven design.
 
We’ll be spending the summer forming improvement teams, working with leaders to develop purpose statements, exploring data sources, and reading background material. If you are also inspired, there is still room in the Collaborative and still time to join. Come on down – it’s going to be a year of deep learning and improvement for patients on whose lives we can have a deep and lasting impact!
 

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