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IHI: Hospitals, Patients Rethink Care; Berwick Blasts Rhetoric

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 8, 2011

This year's Institute for Healthcare Improvement forum, which ended Wednesday in Orlando, provided so many new concepts that could—either quietly or dramatically—alter any healthcare system, at times I thought my head was spinning out of control.

Last year's shock of having to brace for change has worn off. This year, leading-edge providers are thinking much more seriously, in much more detailed and creative ways, about just what form that change must take.

Involving the Patient
For starters, many of the more than 5,700 attendees and presenters said they are figuring out how patients and family members can be a bigger part of the process. In some healthcare systems, providers make sure a patient advocate sits in during interviews with prospective hires for certain clinical jobs. Did they look the patient in the eye? Could they listen as well as they could speak?

A smart, young patient with renal failure told how he got so sick and tired of not being in control of his dialysis, that he pushed the Swedish healthcare system to let him administer his own sessions. With the help of an inspired nurse, the patient created a center where more than 50 patients now administer their own dialysis, with less fatigue, fewer infections, and at reduce cost. The patient with renal failure obtained a transplant and now works as a registered nurse.

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2 comments on "IHI: Hospitals, Patients Rethink Care; Berwick Blasts Rhetoric"


michael.cipolla (12/12/2011 at 4:26 PM)
"Hospitals have become hospital centric..." And physicians have become physician centric and healthcare insurers have become insurer centric and politicians have always been looking out for themselves. We don't need to get along with each other, but we do need to work together for the patient. That may mean the patient won't get all the MRIs or lab tests or concierge services or gourmet meals that make them happy, but don't contribute to getting them healthy or out of the hospital.

david hahn (12/8/2011 at 2:14 PM)
I do not bow to Professor's knowledge. As a health care professional , I don't think he understands that of which he speaks. Rationing is rationing when the money dries up. We must learn to be cost effective and it may not always be plesant