Hospital-based Strategies for Creating a Culture of Health
Updated: Jun 4
Last month, HPOE.org featured a case study entitled ‘Hospital-based Strategies for Creating a Culture of Health’ – http://bit.ly/1nszJcp. HPOE.org is Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence – AHA’s strategic platform to accelerate performance improvement and support delivery system transformations in the nation’s hospitals and health systems.
This report, funded by the RWJF (Robert Woods Johnson Foundation) and HRET (Health Research & Educational Trust), discusses the need for hospitals and healthcare systems to better collaborate with community partners to build a culture of health. The healthier our communities, the better lives we all live. Makes sense. Looking deeper, the economic reality of healthy communities has a direct impact on hospitals and healthcare systems. The healthier our communities, fewer uninsured visits to the ER, fewer Medicaid payments to cover them, and lower insurance rates.
But hospitals and healthcare systems cannot go this alone. Thankfully, there may be plenty of partners that would gladly appreciate — and endorse — such relationships. Partners like primary and secondary schools, local public health departments, business groups, and community non-profits. These organizations could represent trained ground troops that not only advocate for community health and wellbeing, but for the hospital or healthcare systems they represent. Assuming some semblance of the Afford Care Act continues, it stipulates that “tax-exempt hospitals adopt implementation strategies to address priority needs of their community.” If hospitals and healthcare systems want to continue enjoying the increased revenues the ACA has provided them, they may have no choice.
Community healthcare is changing, and hospitals and healthcare systems may have to do a better job of showcasing the value they bring to the communities in which they operate. Direct, local outreach from the hub and satellites of a healthcare system to the community at large may be critical to long-term sustainability.