Don Berwick Recognizes Baylor Scott & White Health’s Accomplishments under Joel Allison’s Leadership

Following up the release of the report titled To Err is Human in 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released Crossing the Quality Chasm in 2001. In this publication, the IOM outlined six aims to focus on related to improving the quality of care delivered.

IOM’s Six Aims for Improvement:


Avoids injuries to patients from care that is intended to help them


Reduces waits and harmful delays impacting smooth delivery of care


Provides services based on scientific knowledge to all who could benefit & refrains from providing services to those not likely to benefit (avoids overuse & underuse)


Uses resources to achieve best value by reducing waste, production, and administration costs


Does not vary in quality according to personal characteristics such as gender, income, ethnicity & location

Patient Centered

Respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values

The STEEEP® acronym based off of these six aims for improvement evolved from the 2000-2001 Baylor Health Care System, now part of Baylor Scott & White Health (BSWH), quality strategic planning board subcommittee, chaired by current BSWH Chief Quality Officer, David Ballard. This was done to communicate the challenge of achieving ideal care. The acronym STEEEP also communicates the “steep” challenge of ascending from current levels of care to achieving the Triple Aim (articulated by Don Berwick in 2008) of better care for individuals, better health for populations, and reduction in per-capita health care costs.

Today, BSWH continues to utilize the STEEEP quality improvement framework and focuses on the areas of safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient-centered care. This framework is aligned with the delivery of accountable care through the pursuit of achieving the Triple Aim.

Joel Allison, CEO Emeritus of BSWH, was instrumental in improving the quality of health care delivered and pushed to always continuously improve. Joel’s commitment to the STEEEP aims tremendously impacted the quality of care patients received at BSWH. Joel joined Baylor Health Care System (BHCS) in 1993. He served as CEO of BHCS from 2000 to 2013, and then became CEO of BSWH starting in 2013. Joel retired from BSWH in January of 2017 and will now serve as senior advisor to the chairman of the Board. Joel will be greatly missed at BSWH, but he will surely continue to inspire others.

Don Berwick, former Administrator of CMS and President Emeritus of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, recorded a video thanking Joel for his commitment to improving health care quality and highlighting the success of BSWH under his leadership. Please view the video below to learn more about health care quality and the impact of Joel Allison.