In her brilliant book, The Sum of Us: How Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, Heather McGhee writes, “A functioning society rests on a web of mutuality, a willingness among all involved to share enough with one another to accomplish what no one person can do alone.” She of course is talking about government here and the racism in our big and small P policies that lead to a lack of public investment in infrastructure, in goods and services that could benefit all of us – the child breaking her toy rather than sharing with her sister (to put this into a context that feels very salient to this mother of two). McGhee also lays out mechanisms to build a better tomorrow through a solidarity dividend – that we are all shareholders in our communities and can benefit from our investments, if we can come together to make them.
I see these public investments in our state’s prescription monitoring program – a tool that all clinicians can use to see whether a controlled substance can be safely prescribed – or our state’s immunization record registry – or the Washington COVID Exposure Notification service. I do not think we would have gotten here if every delivery site had to do this on their own. These frameworks for collection action are instrumental in ensuring that quality and safety are available to all seven and a half million Washingtonians.
So much of this thinking resonates with the work we do at the Foundation for Health Care Quality – the idea that we can go further together than we can alone, or at least more efficiently to a better outcome. The Bree Collaborative’s collection creation of a community standard of care for everything from cesarean sections to end of life care; our Care Outcomes Assessment program approach to raising all the boats in cardiac services, obstetrics, spine surgery, and in general surgery; and the Patient Safety Coalition’s work to ensure diagnostic accuracy and safe clinical interactions. This month we are lucky to be both
- Hiring two positions to support greater implementation of the Bree Collaborative’s guidelines – more information here
- Holding our three COAP annual meetings highlight trends in clinical data and the steps we can all take together to improve our health ecosystem – register to join us for obstetrics on June 16 – cardiac on June 15 – and surgical and spine on June 16.