As hospitals and health systems face today’s challenges of ensuring a safe and healing environment for their patients and staff, they must also move health care delivery toward a future where all patients have access to preventative, holistic care, health care leaders said during an AHA-convened panel yesterday at Aspen Ideas: Health, part of the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Ideas Festival.

Ron Werft, president and CEO of California-based Cottage Health, discussed the challenging health care environment with Janice Nevin, M.D., president and CEO of Delaware-based ChristianaCare, and Omar Lateef, D.O., president and CEO of Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center. They shared their thoughts on emerging care models and technological advances that show promise in revolutionizing care delivery.

While noting reimbursement models need to shift to support better ways of delivering care, the panelists said the hospital of the future must provide longitudinal care based on outcomes and relationships, not transactional care.

Care delivery today is “fundamentally designed to capture failures of care,” said Dr. Lateef, noting that failure to manage chronic disease accounts for a majority of a hospital’s census.

In the future, Dr. Nevin said, “exacerbation of a chronic disease should be a sentinel event.” 

The panelists said new care models that incorporate the right technology and inter-professional teams will be foundational to making the shift and will help address more immediate workforce challenges facing the field.

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