President Barack Obama has picked Donald M. Berwick, MD to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. A champion for hospital quality improvement and safety in medical care, he founded the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in 1991 and has been challenging doctors since then to provide better services at lower cost. Heading this important agency is considered by some to be “the second most powerful [healthcare] position in Washington, next to the secretary of health and human services.” The agency has been without a head for four years. (http://allgov.com/)
Will Berwick be able to change the focus of the programs he leads to one of quality improvement? His background as a dynamic innovator in the healthcare industry promises this—but will he be able to sustain the focus on quality in the highly bureaucratic agency?
Have you had experiences that reflect Berwick’s mark on healthcare through IHI? What thoughts do you have about his potential success in leading this giant agency?