WIHI: Let's Get to Work on Waste in Health Care

Date: October 3, 2019


  • Derek Feely, President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement 
  • Helen Macfie, PharmD, Chief Transformation Officer, MemorialCare Health System
  • Joanne C. Roberts, MD, MHA, Chief Value Officer, Providence St. Joseph Health

  • Kelly Logue, MA, Senior Director of Affordability, HealthPartners

The notion of waste in healthcare has expanded in recent years. Today, waste encompasses everything from diagnostic errors and hospital-acquired infections to EHR workarounds and staff burnout. Experts suggest this waste in the US health care system totals roughly one trillion dollars per year.

And, as Derek Feeley writes in the foreword to the IHI Leadership Alliance’s Call to Action: “The most precious resources — the [health care] workforce’s time, spirit, and joy — are being unnecessarily drained by wasteful processes every day.”

So, what if this one trillion dollars could be cut in half by 2025? It’s no pipe dream if every health system doubles down. This episode of WIHI talks about how.

Helen Macfie traces how the IHI Leadership Alliance waste workgroup arrived at its key interventions and savings calculations in the Call to Action. Derek Feeley desribes why he’s championing waste reduction in health care. Joanna Roberts and Kelly Logue discuss the encouraging trajectory of current strategies in their organizations.


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