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Personal Highlights from the 39th World Hospital Congress

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the World hospital Congress in Chicago this past October. The ACHE is a proud sponsor and well represented at the conference. The goal of the Congress is to bring together healthcare leaders from around the world to share ideas and collaborate on solutions for healthcare?s greatest challenges. It was a chance to network and learn best practices from around the world. We also heard of many struggles from health systems around the world. There were many attendees that worked in the public health field for their respective governments and it was nice to have the governmental perspective represented as well. The breadth of information was astounding, but I would like to share some common themes that ran throughout the conference.

  • There is a global need for trained and competent Healthcare leaders. There is much work being done on developing competency standards for healthcare managers. The ACHE has been working hard in this direction with their leadership programs. Dr. Daniel West, CAMHE Board Chair, spoke about the need to develop and strengthen strategic initiatives to advance global healthcare management education. As the saying goes, ?culture eats strategy for lunch?. Culture is driven by leaders and without qualified and competent leadership the healthcare industry will not survive. There are many global strategic partnerships being developed with professional societies and educational institutions to start bridging these gaps in leadership.
  • Patients want value and part of the value equation is quality. Many of the talks revolved around creating and fostering that culture of safety and quality outcomes.? Healthcare is moving away from just the collection of quality metrics and towards how do we use this data in a meaningful and impactful way. For example, Cincinnati Children?s Hospital has reduced the rate of serious harm to patients by 50% since 2001. CMS has set goals through the Partnership for Patients initiative of a 40% reduction in hospital acquired infections in the next few years which equates to 1.8 million fewer injuries.? It was mentioned that the entire paradigm in healthcare is shifting away from volume driven rewards and towards value and outcomes driven rewards.
  • Population health and integrated delivery networks were popular topics. The need to provide healthcare in a variety of settings not just in hospitals, was discussed in many presentations. This was highlighted by Bernard Tyson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente, which uses multiple technology solutions to reach patients. These include their website (over 162 million views), lab results on-line (over 37.4 million), and e-visits to doctors (over 20 million). Mr. Tyson stated that healthcare is transforming from a physician ?centered to consumer-centered model.
  • There are still many parts of the world where the basic necessities of healthcare are still lacking. For example, I was fortunate to meet some healthcare leaders from Haiti. They spoke about their lack of basic necessities of such things as blankets, sheets, lights, IV poles, and sterile processing equipment to name just a few. Things that many of us throw away or sit in our storerooms and basements unused could be repurposed elsewhere. Unfortunately, a coherent distribution network does not exist to make those connections and actually transfer items to those in need. The bottom line is that many of these resources exist, but not in the right place where patients need them.

We all know that healthcare is one of the fastest evolving industries in the world. The speed and scope of change that we are undergoing is unprecedented. This is not just a domestic trend, but one that is shared worldwide. We are all struggling with similar issues and much work is being done and still needs to be done to continue to do what we as healthcare leaders are dedicated to do, which is to improve and maintain the health of our community. ?For more information or to get more involved please visit the following websites:

World Hospital Congress at:

Institute for Healthcare Improvement:

American Hospital Association:

Mario Pistilli
Manager, Imaging Services/ IR, DR, MRI, Mammo, NM
Presence St.Joseph Medical Center/Presence Health




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