Just two years ago, the AHA launched The Value Initiative to help leaders of hospitals, health systems and the field take on affordability and value in their organizations. 

In those two years, we’ve engaged more than 5,700 hospital leaders, providers and other members of the health care community in the value conversation. We’ve done extensive field research and evaluated health care delivery systems and new payment models; quality improvement methods and other advancements. And we’ve highlighted nearly 50 strategies from hospitals and health systems that have lowered cost, improved outcomes and enhanced the patient experience. 

Over the course of the next two years, we will be taking the work of The Value Initiative from paper — our numerous issue briefs, Members in Action case examples and much more — to action: We will be helping AHA members implement four specific, low-tech, value-based strategies. Our tools and resources will provide you with the information you need to apply these strategies and track your progress. Accordingly, we are calling the effort From Paper to Action.

Here are the four low-tech, value-based strategies that you’ll soon see:

1. Building age-friendly health systems. The Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative seeks to create a structure where every older adult gets the best care possible; experiences no health-care related harm and is satisfied with the care he or she receives. The Value Initiative is partnering with The Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative, an evidence-based approach for age-friendly care developed by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in partnership with the AHA and the Catholic Health Association of the United States, to expand the program’s adoption. 

2. Team-based obstetrics. Obstetric complications and adverse patient events are often preventable. The AHA will create a Team Training model aimed at educating, convening and shaping clinician competencies as they provide team-based care during labor and delivery. 

3. Using Z Codes for social determinants of health. Hospital leaders can see benefits at the local and federal levels when they standardize their approaches to documenting social needs with Z codes (diagnosis codes that represents the non-medical factors that influence health). We will develop resources to encourage hospital leaders to use these codes, and to assist clinicians and coders.

4. Implementing OpenNotes. OpenNotes is an international movement (now more than 40 million patients strong) to make health care more transparent by encouraging doctors, nurses, therapists and other clinicians to invite patients to read their clinical notes. Evidence shows that patients who have access to this information have better outcomes and enhanced care experiences, so we will develop resources to help you build the culture necessary to encourage this transparency.

I hope you will join us in taking our work from paper to action by implementing one or more of these strategies. And please continue to watch for more “paper” — we will continue to provide educational tools, gather important success stories from the field, and build a policy platform to drive the national dialogue around affordability.

Consider joining us in Minneapolis on May 7 for our next, complimentary AHA Executive Forum. We have an exciting lineup of speakers at this AHA-members-only event that will spark discussion on how hospital leaders can improve value through consumer-driven innovation and collaboration — with a diverse range of stakeholders. View the agenda and register here.

With so much accomplished, I’m very optimistic about what we can do together in the future.

Interested in learning more about these efforts? Keep an eye out for new updates in AHA Today and at www.aha.org/TheValueInitiative or contact me at pbathija@aha.org to share your thoughts and experiences. 

Priya Bathija is vice president of AHA’s The Value Initiative.

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