Part 1 of 4 – Triple Aim for Institutions: Healthcare Services.
In 2008, Dr. Donald Berwick, the former administrator of CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) and the CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, published an article in Health Affairs entitled: “The Triple Aim: Care, Health, and Cost.” In this article, Dr. Berwick and his colleagues describe 3 very broad and linked aims to improve US healthcare:
- better care of individuals
- better health of populations
- lower cost of healthcare.
We view his remarks as being directed primarily at healthcare institutions (healthcare systems including hospitals, insurers, physician offices and clinics, surgery centers, etc.) and the medical services they provide.
Dr. Berwick’s focus represents a “top down” approach – trying to tackle the [healthcare] giant by attacking the biggest and toughest problems all at once – reorienting healthcare institutions to control the cost of healthcare services which has $765 billion in annual waste [2009 data, Institute of Medicine]:
- unnecessary services ($210 billion)
- inefficient services ($130 billion)
- excessive administrative costs ($190 billion)
- overly priced services ($105 billion)
- fraud ($75 billion)
- missed prevention opportunities ($55 billion)
One can easily get lost and discouraged by the immensity of this giant – the problem is so broad and overwhelming.
But our discouragement can blind us to opportunities where we can make a difference and accomplish real, focused, specific goals…NOW. We don’t have to wait for the next generation or the government to solve our problems for us. We can make a difference, a very significant difference, TODAY, THIS WEEK, THIS MONTH.
How do we do this? How do we attack and conquer this healthcare giant???
Answer: It’s easier and less intimidating than you might imagine. We just open our minds. We don’t think like a giant, we don’t think like a victim. We simply decide that we are going to win this battle, and then we kill the giant!
How do we kill the giant?
Read Part 2 of this 4 part series. It’s not as tough as you might believe.