Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. This annual conference held in the inner harbor and heart of Baltimore, is where quality professionals and CMS contractors from all over the country gather every year for three days to learn from experts in the field and to join together as colleagues, all pursuing the same vision; improved health of our population, improved delivery of care and smarter spending of health care dollars. On the final day of the conference attendees had the great pleasure of hearing from one of the most widely recognized individuals of health care improvement, Dr. Donald Berwick. Dr. Berwick shared stories of how change and improvement in the health care system have impacted everyday people in our local communities and shared his personal experience working as the administrator of CMS in 2012 and how CMS' commitment to value-based care is a pivotal, unprecedented and necessary shift in the evolution of the Medicare program.
Dr. Berwick framed his presentation on the need for change using three simple words: will, ideas and execution. One must first have the will or desire to change. One must also have an idea or thought about the change. And finally, one must act or do something to create that change. Dr. Berwick spoke of this basic principle and how all change ever takes is these three elements, and that all great improvements start and end with this key principle.