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Quality In Health Week Starts

Health Minister Annette King says internationally renowned health care expert Dr Donald Berwick will be in New Zealand this week to help health professionals share ideas for improving the quality of health care.

Dr Berwick is visiting New Zealand during Working Toward Quality: Quality in Health Week which starts today and runs till September 24.

Mrs King will host a workshop in Wellington next Monday for District Health Board staff with Dr Berwick on quality management.

"Dr Berwick's visit is a rare chance for the New Zealand health sector to discuss quality improvement with a world expert," Mrs King said.

"I met Dr Berwick last year and was impressed with his ideas. He is an inspirational speaker, and health providers and staff will have the opportunity to learn from international best practice.

"Initiatives in the health sector highlighted during Quality in Health Week and feedback from Dr Berwick will give us an opportunity to do things better, and help each other do better. "

Mrs King said the projects and events during Quality in Health week were just the tip of the iceberg.

"Within the Ministry I have staff working on a Quality Improvement Strategy and on competency assurance for health professionals. Outside the Ministry there's just as much if not more happening."


Background information on Dr Donald Berwick
Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP is President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Based in Boston the IHI is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the quality of health care systems through education, research, and demonstration projects, and through fostering collaboration among health care organisations and their leaders. IHI projects extend throughout the U.S. and Canada, in a number of European countries, in Australia, and elsewhere.

Dr Berwick is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School. He is also a pediatrician, an Associate in Pediatrics at Boston's Children's Hospital and a Consultant in Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr Berwick has published over 100 scientific articles in numerous professional journals on subjects relating to health care policy, decision analysis, technology assessment, and health care quality management. His research and commentaries have appeared in The Journal of the American Medical Association, The New England Journal of Medicine, The British Medical Journal, and others. Books he has co-authored include Curing Health Care and New Rules: Regulation, Markets and the Quality of American Health Care.

Dr Berwick was chair of the Health Services Research Review Study Section of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research from 1995-1999, and is currently Chair of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He was vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force from 1990 through 1996. From 1996 through 1999, Dr. Berwick served as the first "Independent Member" of the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association. He also served from 1989 through 1991 as a member of the Panel of Judges for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program.

From 1987 through 1991, Dr Berwick was co-founder and Co-Principal Investigator for the National Demonstration Project on Quality Improvement in Health Care (NDP). He is a past president of the International Society for Medical Decision-Making. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr Berwick was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry in 1997 and 1998. Co-chaired by the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Labour, the Commission was charged with developing a broader understanding of the issues facing rapidly evolving healthcare delivery system and to help build consensus on ways to assure and improve the quality of health care.

A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, Dr Berwick holds a Masters of Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and an MD degree cum laude from the Harvard Medical School. The father of four children (Ben-24, Dan-22, Jessica-19, and Rebecca-14), he is married to Ann (Greenberg) Berwick, an environmental attorney and former Chief of the Environmental Protection Division in the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.

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