Maureen Bisognano, Why Health Care Improvement?

Maureen Bisognano, Former IHI President and CEO

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Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • Recognize the value of storytelling to motivate others.
  • Discuss the potential impact asking patients, “What matters to you?”
Description: When former IHI President and CEO Maureen Bisognano was helping to care for her brother many years ago, she learned a powerful lesson. Instead of pushing him through another aggressive cancer treatment, one thoughtful physician paused to ask a simple question, “What do you want?” That question, and its close relative, “What matters to you?” changed the end of Maureen’s brother’s life and inspired Maureen to pursue a meaningful career in health care improvement.
Discussion Questions:
  1. What emotions did Maureen’s story about her brother evoke in you?
  2. Did you find Maureen’s personal story to be motivating? If so, what made it effective? In general, how can storytelling be valuable for leaders seeking to motivate others?
  3. Maureen says a physician “broke every rule in the hospital” to help her brother die at home. Do you think his actions were warranted? What would you have done in the same situation?
  4. Why are you interested in improving health care?
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