Conversations on Health Care

In 2001, eleven years ago, the Institute of Medicine report, Crossing the Quality Chasm, informed Americans about the alarming quality and safety problems in the most costly healthcare system in the world. In April, 2011, the publication Health Affairs featured articles that documented the lack of progress over the decade in improving either quality or safety, in containing cost or introducing significant efficiencies.

The Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative has led improvement projects over a 15-year-period that demonstrate the great potential for improving quality and patient outcomes and containing costs. Yet PRHI is also discouraged by the slow spread of best practices and paucity of measurable improvements in quality, safety and efficiency.

Therefore, we are embarking on a series of conversations with different experts in the field to better understand why positive change is so slow, how can we accelerate progress, and what actions promise the greatest value.

All respondents, independently, targeted payment reform and care redesign (particularly new models based on the needs of complex patients) as primary opportunities for meaningful progress. We are interested in your comments, perspectives, and prescriptions for change. May the analyses and commentaries provided by Health Affairs stimulate more conversation and more action.