“Health care consumes one dollar out of every seven in the U.S. economy, but it remains disappointing in terms of availability and quality of care.” And this disconnect between costs and benefits, according to Steven Spear, Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and author of The High Velocity Edge is why health care costs have stolen the spotlight from health care outcomes in the realms of media coverage and policy debate.

Spear’s analysis of the issues continues: “Despite all the attention, little headway is made because of a powerful but false assumption: That whatever good is gained must be traded off for something else in return. The reasoning goes that more or better care must be more expensive, so we must chose between getting more or saving money. In other words, we cannot get more, but pay less.

“This premise – and the resulting conclusions – is mistaken. In fact, it is possible to provide better care to more people at less per unit and total cost. Accomplishing this requires applying a more sophisticated approach to managing the delivery of care.”

A new course, “Achieving Breakthrough Quality, Access, and Affordability,”authored by Spear and available from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement’s Open School, demonstrates how this more dependable, reliable approach works by giving you a high-level, multi-disciplinary understanding of key concepts, including:

  • The delivery of care is a far more complex undertaking than in years past because the contributions of many more people – spanning many more specialties and disciplines –have to be coordinated and integrated.
  • The complexity of systems creates vulnerabilities that weren’t significant in simpler systems. Given the number of contributors involved and the strong interdependencies among their work, small aberrations – that might have had minimal effect – can gel to cause major harm.
  • Certain behaviors, if avoided, and other behaviors, if embraced, both protect against these failures and also contribute to success.

Learn More about Achieving Breakthrough Quality, Access, and Affordability and how you can participate.