WIHI: Leading Across the Continuum

Date: May 5, 2011


  • Maureen Bisognano, President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

The last time WIHI sat down with Maureen Bisognano (September 9, 2010: "Leaders Never Stop Learning") she was newly ensconced as the head of IHI and everyone was getting a big dose of her undying optimism and passion for new designs to improve care that include input from patients and families every step of the way. Seven months later, Maureen is as committed to these principles as ever, in part because everywhere she travels she witnesses the benefits that true patient-centered care and true collaboration have on people’s lives — including the clinicians on the front lines.

And yet, it’s easy to understand why leaders of health care organizations today aren’t always so sure how to connect their own home-grown innovations to the high-stakes challenges cropping up on the larger stage. Will cultivating a robust system of patient advisors lead to better HCAHPS (satisfaction) scores? Greater fiscal stability? Will a unique partnership with a home care agency and the local senior center reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions enough to avoid losing out on reimbursements? If infection rates drop, along with endless backups in the emergency department, does this make the hospital a good candidate to form or be part of an accountable care organization (ACO)? If a clinical practice gets a “meaningful” electronic health record system up and running, and patients have new ways to see (and know) what doctors and nurses see (and know), will it make it easier to get certified as a medical home?

Leaders can’t just ask these questions today; they need to have some answers. They also need new ways to explain multiple priorities and simultaneous goals to their hard-working staff, as well as how all the efforts link to the larger aims of health care reform. Are there overarching frames that can help? Maureen Bisognano believes so. WIHI host Madge Kaplan talks with Maureen about her most recent travels, her learning, and her guidance for “leading across the continuum” of care.


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