There is much to learn from these examples, and the need to do so is pressing. While they demonstrate that it is possible to make the kinds of changes required to improve our health care system significantly, they also highlight our greatest challenge: creating a system in which these capabilities and attributes are not isolated, but rather reside together throughout the entire system. The kind of system we desire and deserve will offer consistent and reliable excellence in all its features. This is a lofty but ultimately essential imperative.
The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System intends to continue examining these and other solutions available to a nation with our exceptional resources and capacity. Learning from pioneers and early adopters is a critical step in the improvement process. Equally important is building the will and the commitment from all stakeholders—purchasers, payers, providers, regulators, government, and patients themselves—to undertake the hard work that major change requires.
It is our hope that the Commission's work will be pivotal in all these tasks. The Commission and The Commonwealth Fund seek not just to expose our system's shortcomings, but to highlight proven strategies to overcome them, and support innovations that may lead to additional solutions. Our ultimate goal is to hasten the day when we can all benefit from a high-performance health system that provides high-quality, accessible, patient-centered care to every patient, every day, everywhere.