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Ask Berwick: What's One Thing You Would Change About Health Care Today?

By IHI Open School | Friday, April 5, 2013

You’re walking alone down the massive hallway at the IHI National Forum in Orlando after Dr. Don Berwick’s latest Keynote presentation. Inspired by the talk, you’re zoning out and thinking about how you can take what you’ve learned back to your colleagues and teammates. (You may also be wondering if you can still catch some late afternoon sun by the pool.) Then, all of a sudden, Don appears next to you. He’s walking down the hall – right past the registration desk and all the shuttles – on his way to get a bite to eat. He’s relaxed as he smiles and says, “Hello.”

And you realize you have a chance to ask him anything. You have about three minutes left of walking before you get to the escalators and you have an opportunity to ask him about his speech, his days as a pediatrician, his time in Washington, or his thoughts on leadership. What do you say?

Well, now’s your chance. In a new series on the IHI Open School blog we’re calling “Ask Berwick,” Don Berwick, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, IHI and Former Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will answer your questions. His responses will be short – anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes – but we hope they’ll create a dialogue about issues ranging from the Triple Aim and the science of improvement, to bad days at work and books every health professional should read.

So, what are you waiting for? Now's your chance to step up and "Ask Berwick." Tweet @IHIOpenSchool using #AskBerwick, email openschool@ihi.org, comment below, or leave a comment on Facebook. The question he answers next week could be yours.


To get things started, we asked Berwick to identify the one thing he would change to improve health care today:



Having trouble viewing this video? Watch it on YouTube.


Berwick discusses more about improving patient voice during his time in Washington in his acceptance speech for the Picker Award for Excellence at the 23rd Annual National Forum in 2011.


"The question, "How does it help the patient?" isn't always the first one asked. In fact, it can seem naive, not on point. And yet, I learned that, in Washington, DC, just like here, it is exactly the right question. The best public policy and the best public management answer it."


Read his full acceptance speech about patient-centered care here.

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