Promising Care: How We Can Rescue Health Care by Improving It
November 2013, Jossey-Bass
Promising Care: How We Can Rescue Health Care by Improving It collects 16 speeches given over a period of 10 years by Donald M. Berwick, an internationally acclaimed champion of health care improvement throughout the course of his long and storied career as a physician, health care educator and policy expert, leader of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. These landmark speeches (including all of Berwick’s speeches delivered at IHI’s annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care from 2003 to 2012) clearly show why our medical systems don’t reliably contribute to our overall health. As a remedy he offers a vision for making our systems better – safer, more effective, more efficient, and more humane.
Each of Berwick’s compelling speeches is preceded by a brief commentary by a prominent figure in health care, policy, or politics who has a unique connection to that particular speech. Contributors include such notables as Tom Daschle, Paul Batalden, and Lord Nigel Crisp. Their commentaries reflect on how it felt to hear the speech in the context in which it was delivered, and assess its relevance in today’s health care environment. The introduction is by Maureen Bisognano, CEO of Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and author of Pursuing the Triple Aim.
Praise for previous books by Don Berwick
Curing Health Care:
"The book is an easy and affirming read for anyone who is familiar with and has used the TQM teachings of Dr. Joseph M. Juran and Dr. W. Edwards Deming and would be a simple and informative introduction to the concepts for anyone who has been hearing about TQM but has no idea what it is all about and wants to know more."
—Permanent Fixes (blog)
"Donald Berwick is the most clearly heard evangelist of applying industrial methods of continuous quality improvement in health care."
—Annals of Internal Medicine
"With an effective blend of common sense, real-life stories,
persuasive metaphors, and out-of-the-box thinking, Dr.
Berwick’s presentations make for fascinating reading for
anyone interested in improving America’s $1.7 trillion health
"Anyone interested in change in the healthcare system would
enjoy this book. In degree programs, the various speeches would be
useful for discussion in a health policy readings course."
—The Annals of Pharmacotherapy
The Author xv
The Commentary Authors xvii
Introduction by Maureen Bisognano xxvii
1 My Right Knee 1
Commentary by Gary S. Kaplan
2 Some Is Not a Number, Soon Is Not a Time 25
Commentary by C. Joseph McCannon
3 Power 45
Commentary by Dale Ann Micalizzi
4 Mont Sainte-Victoire 67
Commentary by Jason Leitch
5 A Message for Ramesh 89
Commentary by Paul Farmer
6 Eating Soup with a Fork 101
Commentary by Paul B. Batalden
7 What “Patient-Centered” Should Mean: Confessions of an Extremist 123
Commentary by Frederick S. Southwick
8 Tense 137
Commentary by Jessica Berwick
9 A Transatlantic Review of the NHS at Sixty 155
Commentary by Lord Nigel Crisp
10 The Epitaph of Profession 165
Commentary by Christine K. Cassel
11 Squirrel 177
Commentary by Diana Chapman Walsh
12 You Decide 195
Commentary by Beverley H. Johnson
13 The Moral Test 205
Commentary by Tom Daschle
14 New Health System—New Professionalism 223
Commentary by James Reason
15 To Isaiah 235
Commentary by Mark D. Smith
16 And We Said, “No” 245
Commentary by Patricia A. Gabow
Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP, is president emeritus and senior fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), an organization that he cofounded and led for eighteen years. He is one of the nation's leading authorities on health care quality and improvement. In July 2010, President Obama appointed Dr. Berwick to the position of administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which he held until December 2011. A pediatrician by background, Dr. Berwick has served as clinical professor of Pediatrics and Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School, professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a member of the staffs of Boston Children's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Berwick is the author of Escape Fire and coauthor of the books, Curing Health Care and New Rules, also available from Jossey-Bass.