Logical incentives, matched with emotional appeals and strict guidance, proved to be a lethal combination that inspired behavioral change among Dr. Berwick’s audiences. Initial participants were experiencing improvements in patient safety and care that were too dramatic to ignore, and other doctors began to take note. Change was finally happening!

Eighteen months after the introduction of the IHI’s proposal, or maybe “challenge” is the more appropriate term, the institute revealed that approximately 122,300 avoidable deaths had been prevented. Dr. Berwick and his team forever changed patient standards of care and safety in hospitals and other healthcare institutions.

Similar to the challenges now faced by hospitals today, change did not and will not come easily. With the new ACA initiatives in place, we are well on our way to seeing change in the current healthcare system, but it’s a long road to seeing widespread improvements. The new legislation has provided a purpose (to improve patient safety and quality of care), logical appeals (monetary incentive), and guidance (Medicare’s VBP Program’s 12 clinical measures).  But, maybe, the government and Accountable Care Organizations should read up on the elephant and rider metaphor and take a page from Dr. Berwick’s strategy to realize that for effective change to occur, more concrete goals need to be implemented, emotional aspects considered and addressed, and assisted guidance be offered to healthcare’s already overburdened resources and professionals.

If 76 people were able to do it in 2006, what’s stopping us today?

Read Part 1 for background on the Affordable Care Act and Dr. Berwick and Part 2 for background on the issues facing Dr. Berwick and how he devised methods to overcome the obstacles to affect dramatic change.

Ken is a great deal more than just the president of a medical communications company. He is something of a hybrid. He’s part marketing manager, part creative director, and part copywriter. To the chagrin of his peers—but to the delight of his clients—Ken is a consummate perfectionist. As a former creative director for a high-end consumer agency, he challenged his creative teams to go beyond the mundane to produce work with real creative impact, something he’s just as fervent about today. From producing and directing TV commercials, to launching DTC and Rx-to-OTC switches, Ken brings his clients a world of experience in OTC pharmaceuticals as well as business, lifestyle, and high-end consumer products and services. Whether huddled with clients behind a mirror in a market research center in Houston, facilitating a strategic workshop in Madrid, or developing a global campaign either in the New Jersey or California office, Ken is always fully engaged, bringing “bestness” to all areas of his hectic but full life.