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Jun 14, 2019

In our 4th interview podcast of 2019, Donald Berwick, co-founder and former President and CEO of IHI, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, shares his Deming Journey.  Dr. Berwick, who presented at The Deming Institute's 2018 Conference, is one of the nation's leading authorities on healthcare quality and improvement. 

(This is Tripp's first interview with Dr. Berwick)

Highlights include:

  • His training as a pediatrician
  • His efforts to apply quality management, before his introduction to the Deming Philosophy
  • Co-Founded IHI in 1989 as a non-profit organization
  • Appointed by President Obama, in July 2010, to the position of Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which he held until December, 2011
  • Ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2014
  • 4 children and 7 grandchildren
  • Attended a Four-day Seminar with Dr. Deming in 1986, leaving early and then returning
  • Prior to meeting Dr. Deming, serving as "VP of Inspection"
  • In the world of inspection, everything stayed the same
  • Waiting times of 2 minutes for x-rays were reported to him (with falsification) by the radiology department 
  • "Do something about it"
  • Question: What is the pushback that you see today in healthcare?
  • The Red Bead Experiment was "electrifying," including triggering a vicious cycle of blame by management and withdrawal by willing workers.
  • The workforce (willing workers) wants to do well
  • The influence of Dr. Deming, and others, on IHI
  • Prescriptions for fixing healthcare - "It takes leadership"
  • General tone of healthcare today; "measure enough, yell enough, things get better"
  • Continued focus today (backsliding) on measurement for inspection
  • Question: What are physicians learning today about management? Answer: "Heroism as the route to excellence"