Don Berwick (born in 1947 in Moodus, CT) is the founder, President, and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving health care throughout the world. Berwick is also a practicing pediatrician and holds multiple teaching roles at Harvard University. Berwick is a leading author, speaker, and advocate for transforming America's healthcare system into a more patient-centered, efficient, and safe system.
Berwick graduated with a B.A. from Harvard College, and received a M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and an M.D from the Harvard Medical School. He completed his medical residency in pediatrics at Children's Hospital in Boston.
Berwick began his career as a pediatrician at Harvard Community Health Plan and in 1983 he became the plan's first Vice President of Quality-of-Care Measurement. In that position, Berwick investigated quality control measures in other industries such as aeronautics and manufacturing and considered their application in health care settings. From 1987-1991, Berwick was co-founder and Co-Principal Investigator for the National Demonstration Project on Quality Improvement in Health Care designed to teach quality improvement to 21 health care organizations. In 1989, Berwick left Harvard Community Health Plan and continued to administrate and teach quality improvement programs.
Institute for Healthcare Improvement
IHI was founded in 1991 and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
His nonprofit Institute for Healthcare Improvement, or IHI, has about 100 full-time employees, another 400 adjunct faculty members, and an annual budget of $27 million, with revenue coming from contracts with health care systems and foundation grants. Berwick is paid a base annual salary of $377,000. More movement than consultancy, IHI runs courses, conferences, improvement projects, and a website and membership network designed to let health care institutions learn from one another. Same day appointments, personal medical records,CPOE to eliminate medication errors, transparency in hospital performance, doctors would have less discretion in treatment options and would follow evidence based care guidelines
Berwick practices medicine as an Associate in Pediatrics at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, and a Consultant in Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital. In additiona, Berwick is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School, and a professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health,
In 2002, the weekly trade publication Modern Healthcare ranked Berwick the third most powerful person in American health care, eclipsed only by Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson and his top lieutenant, Tom Scully, who runs the $435 billion Medicare and Medicaid system.
He has published over 110 scientific articles in numerous journals, including The Journal of the American Medical Association, The New England Journal of Medicine, and The British Medical Journal. Dr. Berwick is the co-author of several books, notably Curing Health Care, New Rules: Regulation, Markets and the Quality of American Health Care, and Cholesterol, Children with Heart Disease: An Analysis of Alternatives.
Berwick distills his vision for health care into five concepts: no needless death, no needless pain, no helplessness, no unwanted waits, and no waste.