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Ask Berwick: How do I align improvement work across an organization?

By IHI Open School | Tuesday, June 11, 2013

This week, Dr. Don Berwick answers a question from a new process improvement leader about the difficulty of setting up an open environment for organizational communcation: "What would you advise for learning how to accomplish alignment of process improvement work across an organization?"


Dr. Berwick, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at IHI and Former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, has answered one question each week, for 10 weeks, in our blog series "Ask Berwick." We'll be taking a break for the summer, but keep an eye out for more Q&A's later in the year. In the meantime, you can catch up on previous "Ask Berwick" Q&A's here.



Having trouble viewing this video? Watch it on YouTube.


In his answer, Dr. Berwick discusses the importance of having an organizational culture that's open and fosters communication among all units. In an article titled "Transforming healthcare: a safety imperative" that he co-authored for the Lucian Leape Institute at the National Patient Safety Foundation, Berwick elaborates more on why that open culture is crucial for quality improvement and patient safety.


"Safety...depends on achieving a culture of trust, reporting, transparency and discipline. For healthcare organisations in every country, this requires major culture change." You can read the full article here.


You can still submit questions for "Ask Berwick." Tweet @IHIOpenSchool using #AskBerwick, email openschool@ihi.org, or comment on Facebook.


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