At today's opening keynote session, AHA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Maryjane Wurth shared details about the launch of the AHA's new Center for Health Innovation, which is designed to help members drive high-impact innovation and transformation. "The Center will meet you where you are in the process of transformation," Wurth said. "Because we all won't take the same path – in fact, we shouldn't take the same path." The Center, which will launch in the fall, initially will focus on affordability and value; performance improvement; population health; delivery models; emerging issues and innovation capacity. "The Center will disseminate proven best and leading practices while also reimagining health care altogether," Wurth said. "Both aspects are important – implementing what we know works, and generating new ideas to explore."
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, M.D., said combatting the opioid epidemic is the top priority for his office and the administration, and they are focusing on three critical areas – prevention, education and naloxone. "We must educate the public about the opioid epidemic and destigmatize addiction," he said. "This must be treated with skill, compassion and urgency." In April, Adams issued a public health advisory urging Americans who misuse opioids, have an opioid use disorder or recent overdose, or know someone who does, to carry and know how to use naloxone – a drug that can be delivered via nasal mist or injection to temporarily suspend the effects of an overdose until emergency responders arrive. "And, make no mistake about it, Naloxone availability is just the first step," Adams said. "We have to save a life first, but we need to increase awareness about prevention and treatment about opioid issues and opioid treatment. That's why I am so excited to announce that this fall, my office will be collaborating with AHA to provide concrete actions for hospitals and health systems and the public to help end the opioid epidemic." Adams also challenged hospital and health system leaders to "be the quarterbacks" in their community on efforts to improve health. "Leverage your platform to gather non-traditional partners and policymakers and bring them to the table."After his keynote address, Adams participated in a Facebook Live conversation with AHA Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Jay Bhatt, D.O. Watch it here.
Lucy Kalanithi, M.D., internist and faculty member at Stanford School of Medicine, participated in a conversation with AHA Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Jay Bhatt, D.O., on the crossroads of health care value and human values. Kalanithi is the widow of Paul Kalanithi, author of the No. 1 New York Times bestselling memoir, When Breath Becomes Air. She wrote the epilogue in which she reflects on her own experience standing alongside her husband during his life, diagnosis, treatment and death. Among other topics, they discussed how to improve the value of health care by bettering care and lowering its financial and emotional costs.
Shankar Vedantam, NPR's science correspondent and author of The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives, discussed how our unconscious biases affect the decisions we make. Vedantam shared how these unconscious biases can influence the success or failure of organizations and described ways in which we can avoid the mistakes they often cause.
Throughout the day, conference attendees participated in education sessions across eight tracks. The sessions focused on responding to the power of consumerism in health care; integrating workforce innovations for organizational transformation; enhancing the value and affordability of health care; driving delivery system change through innovation; quality and safety improvements for optimal performance; leveraging technology and data analytics in an integrated system of care; advancing well-being; and governance excellence.
AHA also presented a number of awards, including:
- Equity of Care Award – Navicent Health of Macon, GA, received the award. Rush University Medical Center in Chicago; Atrium Health in Charlotte, NC; Regional Health in Rapid City, SD; and Cone Health in Greensboro, NC, were recognized as honorees. Read more.
- Circle of Life Awards – Hospice of the Valley, Arizona Palliative Home Care Program, Phoenix; Penn Wissahickon Hospice and Caring Way, Penn Medicine, Philadelphia; and Palliative Care, Western Connecticut Health Network, Danbury, CT, received the awards. Rainbow Kids, Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital, Salt Lake City; Department of Supportive Care Medicine, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL; and Hand in Hand Palliative Care, Children's Hospital & Medical Center, Omaha, NE; received citations of honor. Read more.
- Innovation Challenge Awards – Parkview Health of Fort Wayne, IN was the first-place winner; University of Pennsylvania Health System of Philadelphia was the second-place winner; and West Tennessee Healthcare of Jackson, TN was the third-place winner in AHA's inaugural Innovation Challenge. "The AHA Innovation Challenge was a unique opportunity for teams from AHA member hospitals and health systems to share creative approaches for integrated care delivery redesign and financing targeted to populations with complex needs," AHA Chair-elect Brian Gragnolati, president and CEO of Atlantic Health System, said today during the award presentation. Read more.
- The AHA's Health Research & Educational Trust, joined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, this week celebrated HRET's Hospital Improvement Innovation Network's quality improvement efforts and recognized five hospital associations for their outstanding performance. The Florida Hospital Association, Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association and Indiana Hospital Association received the HRET HIIN Quality Award for High Performance; Maine Hospital Association received the HRET HIIN Quality Award for Rural Excellence, and Colorado Hospital Association received the HRET HIIN Quality Award for Innovation. HRET and its state hospital association partners continue to see improvements in collective quality performance, safety and value across a network of 1,600 hospitals. Since September 2016, HRET's HIIN has achieved $625 million in health care savings, prevented more than 63,800 adverse events and saved more than 5,000 lives.