The National Academy of Medicine today released a discussion paper examining the experiences of hospitals and health systems during the COVID-19 pandemic, and opportunities to leverage the lessons of COVID-19 to support performance improvements to the sector more broadly.

Leaders from the AHA, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Virginia Mason Health System, HCA Healthcare and America’s Essential Hospitals co-authored the paper, the second in a NAM nine-part series on “Emerging Stronger after COVID-19: Priorities for Health System Transformation.”

“Although the public health emergency remains ongoing, this review of the experience and evidence to date is applicable for both navigating the next phase for the pandemic and identifying priority actions for upcoming policy reforms,” the authors say. “Key policy considerations include enhancing financial resiliency, creating surge capacity in the medical supply chain, investing in new workforce support and development programs and staffing models, improving flexibility and built-in capacity for inpatient care, building upon renewed commitments to address health inequities, addressing subsector-specific challenges, and fostering linkages between health systems and other sectors such as public health. Regulators and system leaders can leverage these lessons to guide the recovery from COVID-19 and the response to future public health emergencies, strengthening the health system’s capacity to address the population health challenges of the 21st century.”

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