Dramatic improvements are needed in healthcare cost containment, quality improvement and efficiency, said Institute for Healthcare Improvement President and CEO Maureen Bisognano, during the group's annual National Forum in Orlando, Fla.
Citing Commonwealth Fund data that ranked the U.S. in last place in preventable mortality among 19 industrialized nations, Bisognano argued that performance improvement can be achieved by looking to high achievers.
“If we could spread the best practices from the top-performing quintile of states across the country, we could move from 19th to 5th place,” she said. “The answers are there.”
The conference has drawn more than 5,600 attendees from 47 countries, according to the Cambridge, Mass.-based not-for-profit.
And with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and President Barack Obama's reelection, uncertainty about the reform law has given way to questions among attendees about how specifically to implement its provisions and to accommodate the influx of new patients, she added.
“The vision is clear,” said Bisognano, “but what is causing that uncertainty now is 'How do we get there?' People are looking for new and innovative models.”
In an opening keynote, Bisognano framed the need to close the performance gap as a moral imperative and outlined a framework for accelerating the spread of evidence-based best practices, which included the need for teamwork and tips for scaling up projects.