Originally Posted by REWahoo
Meadbh, I take it you are familiar with Dr. Berwick. What can you tell us about him?
Don Berwick is a Harvard pediatrician and the CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (www.ihi.org
). He is one of the world's foremost thinkers and leaders on how to improve healthcare and make it safer. He led the 100,000 lives campaign, which was so named because it has been estimated from various studies that up to 98,000 people in the US die annually due to patient safety problems, ranging from hospital acquired infections to failure to get the care they need. Associated with this and other campaigns, hospital mortality in the US has actually decreased in recent years.
Dr Berwick's influence is global and he has received many awards, including a knighthood from QE2 for his work with the NHS in Britain. The Annual Forum of the IHI is an excellent meeting which I have attended several times. For the past several years, there have been brainstorming sessions about potential directions for the US healthcare system to take. I am not at all surprised that Pres. Obama has chosen Dr. Berwick to lead Medicare / Medicaid. Dr. Berwick's philosophy is not about cutting costs as a primary outcome, it's about delivering the right healthcare in an effective, efficient and safe way. If done right, savings will follow.