ABIM Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement partner to build trust in US health systems

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Post by Building Trust

The organizations will use an evidence-driven approach to identify behaviors and practices that make health care providers and organizations more worthy of trust, with the goal of replication nationwide

PHILADELPHIA and BOSTON, November 22, 2021 – Trust at all levels of the health care system is at historic lows, affecting quality of care and equity among patients and communities. According to a survey released by the ABIM Foundation in May 2021, about one in every eight adults say they have been discriminated against by a US health care facility or office, with Black individuals being twice as likely to experience discrimination in a health care facility compared to white counterparts. That’s why the ABIM Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) are partnering to identify and promote practices, policies, and behaviors for rebuilding trust in US health care systems.

IHI will spearhead an effort to assess the current landscape of trust in health care, including reviewing existing literature and conducting interviews with leaders and clinicians at health systems that have achieved high levels of clinician-patient trust. The findings will enable IHI to develop a clear set of actions health care systems can take to enhance trust between providers and the patients they serve, with a particular focus on strengthening relationships with communities of color.

This theory of change will incorporate and build on the system-level drivers of clinician-patient trust that the ABIM Foundation has identified as part of its work in this area: Competency, caring, compassion, comfort/equity, and cost.

“We launched the Building Trust initiative to elevate the importance of trust as an essential organizing principle to guide operations and improvements in health care, including promoting health equity,” said Richard J. Baron, MD, President and CEO of ABIM and the ABIM Foundation. “We’re well on our way of creating a vanguard community of organizations interested in addressing trust, and now is the time to build on this work and move toward deriving a specific set of trust-enhancing practices that can easily be spread across health care systems.”

“Rebuilding trust is critically important to our efforts to improve health and health care worldwide, and to addressing health equity in particular,” said Kedar Mate, MD, President and CEO of IHI. “Our hope is to build on this work by pilot-testing trust-building practices with a small group of US health care organizations, and eventually scale the effort across the country.”


About the ABIM Foundation 
The ABIM Foundation’s mission is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system by collaborating with physicians and physician leaders, medical trainees, health care delivery systems, payers, policymakers, consumer organizations and patients to foster a shared understanding of professionalism and how they can adopt the tenets of professionalism in practice. To learn more about the ABIM Foundation, visit www.abimfoundation.org, connect on Facebook or follow on Twitter. 

About the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is an independent not-for-profit organization based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. For 30 years, IHI has used improvement science to advance and sustain better outcomes in health and health systems across the world. IHI brings awareness of safety and quality to millions, catalyzes learning and the systematic improvement of care, develops solutions to previously intractable challenges, and mobilizes health systems, communities, regions, and nations to reduce harm and deaths. IHI collaborates with a growing community to spark bold, inventive ways to improve the health of individuals and populations. IHI generates optimism, harvests fresh ideas, and supports anyone, anywhere who wants to profoundly change health and health care for the better. Learn more at ihi.org.

Media Contacts

ABIM Foundation
Jaime McClennen, 609-703-6909

Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Joanna Clark, CXO Communication, 207-712-1404