Harvey V. Fineberg
DR. FINEBERG: Good evening. I am Harvey Fineberg. I am the president of the Institute of Medicine, and I have the great privilege of welcoming all of you to the annual Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Lecture.
This lecture series, which started in 1988, is an opportunity for those of us at the Institute of Medicine to present a public discussion each year on a topic of significance in health.
This evening we are privileged to hear from a panel of presenters, all speaking on the topic of next steps toward higher quality health care. Arguably the one topic for which Institute of Medicine studies have had the greatest impact on public awareness and professional thinking is the safety and quality of health care. Our speakers tonight have had a direct and indirect hand in the series of IOM reports on that topic and in the kind of analytic and critical thinking that underlies our nation’s efforts to produce safer and higher quality care.
The IOM reports from five and six years ago called attention to the problem. They laid out a blueprint—especially the Crossing the Quality Chasm report—for ways to approach the solution. But the questions for tonight are, How well are we doing as a nation? How much progress are we making? What do we need to do looking forward to take the next steps, to make the kind of progress that will produce a quality of health care that we are capable of providing and that patients and the public and our country deserve?
Our speakers tonight are each going to be asked to speak for about 15 minutes. I am going to introduce them individually. They will then make
their presentation, and afterward we will open the floor for questions, comments, and discussion.
I know that you will enjoy these presentations as much as I look forward to hearing them. Each of our speakers has done so much in this field.
Our first speaker is Elliott Fisher, who is a professor of medicine and community and family medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. He also directs the Institute for the Evaluation of Medical Practice at Dartmouth’s Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences.
I might not have gotten all the titles correct, but I can assure you that the titles are only a small indication of the range of incredibly productive work conducted by Elliott and his colleagues. I am so pleased that Jack Wennberg, Elliott’s colleague at Dartmouth, is here as well tonight, along with others who have worked and learned from the contributions that Elliott has made.
Among other important responsibilities, Elliott co-chairs the Performance Measures Subcommittee of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Redesigning of Health Insurance Payment and Performance Improvement Programs.
So, for all your service here, Elliott, but most importantly for what you have done in the field and to advance the understanding of quality and evaluation in health care, welcome. We look forward to your remarks.