2020 is underway and it’s clear this year will bring new challenges … and new opportunities.

Fresh technologies, new players in the market, increased emphasis on population health and the social determinants of health, the advance of consumer-friendly care delivery models … all of these factors and more promise a significant and lasting transformation of health care. 

As leaders in health care, we welcome this change. Why? Because hospitals and health systems are leading this transformation, helping to shape and direct the future … just as we have always done. As a field, we have a remarkable track record for adaptability, seamlessly integrating decades of major breakthroughs in technology, biology and science — evolving treatments for cancer come to mind — into improved patient care.

In health care, change brings with it the opportunity to continue improving. It means better care for our patients. Change is what hospitals have been doing for far longer than any of us have been around. We know that there will always be changes we need
to make to prepare for the future. That’s what we’re doing today … and that’s what we’ll continue to do tomorrow. 

To help you prepare for what lies ahead, each year, we publish the AHA Environmental Scan. This year’s scan offers an overview of the trends, statistics and economic forecasts likely to affect patients and providers at every level of care. 

We encourage you to read through it and share it with your teams. Some highlights: It was reported late last year that in 2018, the uninsured rate rose for the first time in a decade, so access to care, affordability and value will all be front-and-center this year; the workforce will continue to face challenges related to shortages and the factors changing the nature of work, including artificial intelligence; the social determinants of health will continue to drive patient outcomes; and innovation will drive hospitals’ and health systems’ ability to reach patients, improve outcomes and address affordability … just to name a few. 

Again, you can find the 2020 Environmental Scan here. It’s just part of the many insights we offer. Each and every day, you are saving lives, performing miracles and keeping people healthy. As always, the AHA will stay on top of the forces and trends shaping health care delivery to help you care for your community. 

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