Healthcare 360: Journey to Healthcare Quality Improvement

January 03, 2024

Podcast: A Journey to Healthcare Quality Improvement

On this week’s episode of Healthcare 360, Dr. Rob Fields sits down with Anthony Weiss, MD, MBA, MSc, Chief Medical Officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, to discuss his role and healthcare quality improvement.

An Array of Experience

Dr. Weiss began his career as a psychiatrist after training in psychiatry at both Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and McLean Hospital. During that time, he took an interest in neuroscience and began doing neuroscience imaging research. Ultimately, he decided he wanted to make a different kind of impact in health care, so he thought hard on his next step.

Wanting to make a tangible impact on the world, Weiss was drawn to quality and safety when it was brand new and up-and-coming. This exciting work led him to getting involved in mental health improvement at MGH. After that, he went back to school to earn his before becoming Chief Medical Officer at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.

Then, one day, Weiss received a phone call asking him to return to Boston to become the Chief Medical Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The Path to a Better Future in Healthcare

Discussing quality and safety in healthcare, Weiss brings up his frustrations with the fact the number of adverse events in hospitals is no lower today than it was 25 years ago.

He mentions that there are three phases to the history of improvement of healthcare, starting with charitable organizations who provided care out of altruism. Then, during the Industrial Revolution, Taylorism started to shape medicine and we ended up with notable figures, like Ernest Codman, who wanted to analyze impact through measurement. While unpopular at first, structural measurement became somewhat of a standard in the mid-20th century which led to increased trust in the healthcare system up until the end of the 20th century.

“That ushered in, I’d say the most modern phase of healthcare quality improvement which really tried to adopt techniques and approaches from other industries, like the airline industry, aviation, commercial, military, aerospace, and nuclear, into healthcare,” he says.

Dr. Field and Weiss then discuss the establishment of safety reports, innovation in healthcare, and increased access to care and how that has impacted quality improvement over time. Talking about expanding use of electronic medical records in the future, they note we can learn important information from electronic medical records and take proactive steps in providing care as a result.

Every other week, we’ll chat with a leading expert in healthcare to learn about the many challenges and opportunities facing the industry. Listen to the full conversation with Dr. Weiss here, and check in regularly for new episodes of Healthcare 360.