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Dr Don Berwick Discusses AF4Q and the 2016 Presidential Election

Getting people to change their mentality when it comes to their health is a very difficult prospect, but one that researchers attempted to tackle as part of the Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q), explained Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, president emeritus and senior fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Berwick served as the special guest editor for the supplement publishing results of the AF4Q initiative.


Getting people to change their mentality when it comes to their health is a very difficult prospect, but one that researchers attempted to tackle as part of the Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q), explained Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, president emeritus and senior fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Berwick served as the special guest editor for the supplement publishing results of the AF4Q initiative.

What can be done to bring the lessons of AF4Q into the broader debate this election season?

The lessons of AF4Q, they're technically complicated lessons. The papers that are being assembled in this special issue that's reporting out of this, they're brilliant papers. They're going to be landmarks. But they're really specialty oriented.

We really still need a way to help busy laypeople, who have a stake in their communities but have many, many things on their minds, to be able to grasp what it means to align for health. What their responsibility is, how to act cooperatively. That's unsolved. And, indeed, one of the lessons learned in AF4Q is how difficult that is.

The attention of the public is a very limited resource and I'd say the challenge in an election year, and any year, is to bridge between the technical understandings of how we can really achieve better health and the day-to-day mentality of a very busy public. That's unsolved. We're not there yet.

 
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