​​​​​What matters to IHI is that those who work in health care understand the impact that asking, “What matters to you?” has on quality, safety, and the joy of the health care workforce.

In their 2012 New England Journal of Medicine article, Dr. Michael Barry and Susan Edgman-Levitan introduced the concept of asking, “What matters to you?” in addition to “What is the matter?” in the context of implementing shared decision making. Their ambition was to increase clinicians’ awareness of important issues in their patients’ lives that could drive customized plans of care.

IHI believes that “What Matters” is a simple, yet profound concept that is key to creating deeply personal engagements with patients and their family members, a deeper understanding of what really matters to them, and is the foundation of developing genuine partnerships for co-creating health.

By introducing this concept, Michael and Susan unlocked in health care leaders around the world the potential to solve problems that matter to their patients. The concept of “What Matters” also has a profound impact on the joy of the health care workforce.

“What Matters to You?” Day in June: Need Inspiration?

While “What Matters to You?” is important to practice every day, June 9 is marked as the annual celebration.

Organizations all over the world have cultivated the power of “What matters to you?” Below are some resources that might help your organization celebrate “What Matters to You?” Day on June 9.

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