On this episode, I talk with Maureen Bisognano, a prominent authority on improving health care systems. Maureen served as Institute for Healthcare Improvement president and CEO for five years and IHI executive vice president and chief operating officer for 15 years.

We have a wide-ranging conversation on quality improvement in health care, including during a pandemic that has illuminated disparities. Maureen talks about IHI’s breakthrough approach to change using data and storytelling, and explains the institute’s work to build the will for change and close gaps in health care access, quality and outcomes.

Maureen has a very good habit of going to observe firsthand how providers and hospitals in the U.S. and other countries are responding to gaps and challenges. She gives some fascinating examples of upstream solutions to health care workforce challenges. She also touches on her own personal journey as a health care professional and how it has shaped her thinking.

It’s more important than ever, Maureen says, for clinicians to ask patients — and leaders to ask care teams — “what matters to you?” She explains: “Caring isn’t just the technical stuff — the medications and the diagnosis. Caring is the humanity.”

Watch the episode here.

Look for more of my conversations on trending topics with health care leaders from around the country, released as part of the Chair File.

Rod Hochman, M.D.
AHA Chair


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