WIHI: The New World of Co-producing Health and Health Care

Date: March 24, 2016


  • Maren Batalden, MD, MPH, Associate Chief Quality Officer and Associate Director of Graduate Medical Education for Quality and Safety, Cambridge Health Alliance
  • Kathy Sabadosa, MPH, Senior Research Director, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice
  • Sarah Myers, MPH, RN, Executive Improvement Director, ImproveCareNow, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • Julie Bass, DO, Medical Director, Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program, Children’s Mercy Hospital (Kansas City, MO)
  • Jamie Hicks, RN, Lead Parent of Patient & Family Advisory Council, Children’s Mercy Hospital IBD Program
  • Christina Gunther-Murphy, Executive Director, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
When we say patients and clinicians should be “co-producing health and health care,” do we really mean it? Dr. Maren Batalden from the Cambridge Health Alliance certainly hopes so. In fact, in her recent article on the subject, she and her co-authors assert that a form of co-production already exists in health care today — in the natural give-and-take between patients and providers around treatment and care decisions; and in the assets that patients and practitioners each bring to the table. But we have yet to realize the full promise of co-production —​ the opportunity to optimize this “collaboration” to achieve much better health and health outcomes. In other words, when patients and providers consciously work together, toward common goals, all kinds of possibilities open up.
Co-production does require a paradigm shift and for medical staff, letting go of seeing themselves as the sole engines and creators of the “product” known as health care. In fact, Dr. Batalden and her co-authors argue, health care isn’t a product at all, but a service which both “sides” engage in and have an opportunity to shape. At its most basic level co-production is an exciting new way to frame mutually respectful, helpful relationships, including among clinical staff. Dr. Batalden says it best: “Health care is not a product manufactured by the health care system, but rather a service which is co-created by health care professionals in relationship with one another and with people seeking help to restore or maintain health for themselves and their families.
These are the conversations and concepts that make up the excellent March 24 WIHI: The New World of Co-Producing Health and Health Care.



Watch Highlights from the WIHI Broadcast​

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