Every single day the men and women who lead America’s hospitals are confronted with a full plate of urgent problems that require their immediate attention. Dealing with these challenges makes a daily difference in the lives of patients, employees, physicians and the community. The work they do is truly astounding, given the pressures and complexities they must overcome.
In 2016, our nation’s hospital and health system leaders will be challenged as never before to provide value in everything they do. Every hospital’s resolution for the new year must be to demonstrate that it is relevant to its community– and is moving toward a value-oriented world that demands more accountability for the quality and cost of care.
Hospitals know that in this changing health care world, success will be defined by not just positive clinical outcomes but keeping patients happier, healthier and more involved. Outreach at the community level is encouraging people to get the preventive care they need and helping hospitals partner with organizations that can help patients who need assistance after discharge stay healthy. Greater diversity and cultural competency among hospital leaders and caregivers, paired with better collection and use of race, ethnicity and language data, supports hospitals in their quest to engage in more meaningful ways with their communities.
As hospitals move toward a more coordinated system of care, they are positioning themselves to keep people healthy and out of emergency departments. They are finding ways to reconfigure to better meet the needs of their communities. They are moving care into their communities in non-traditional ways. And they are looking for new models of care to provide the latest treatments and access to new technologies.
As they manage change, hospitals also are dealing with an extraordinary burden of government regulations, myriad insurance requirements and constant uncertainty about federal compensation. But the field is determined to do whatever it takes to continue meeting its commitment to the people and communities it serves ... reinventing health care and laying the groundwork for a true system of care that will ensure a healthier America.
As we enter 2016, hospitals should take pride in the change that they are leading. And as they navigate this challenging year in health care, the AHA will join them as advocate and convener, helping them share information with one another and with decision makers.