Hospitals must shift healthcare from inside their faclity walls to their communities in order to make care safer, patient-centered, more efficient and of higher quality, according to Maureen Bisognano, president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement during yesterday's IHI conference in Orlando, Fla.
"Everybody is going to work on this, everybody is going to come together," she said during the keynote address. "One of our goals for 2014 is switching from responding to illness to preventing it across the entire spectrum."
Bisognano cited examples from all over the country to show how hospitals involve their communities and make them a part of preventive and quality care. For instance, in Alaska, a small community program called Nuka System of Care is reaching out to the Native American population to understand the demographic's health challenges and involve the community to help stave off those problems, Bisognano said.
Hospitals must step up and make the changes themselves, especially with the chaotic atmosphere surrounding healthcare in Washington, D.C., according to Bisognano.
"It's flipping in a national sense, from waiting for Washington to give us an answer, to 'we're going to dive in'," she said.
Hospitals must embrace changing healthcare models that will allow for better patient experiences, which lead to healthier lives and communities, Bisognano added.
"The goal is to make the existing innovations and models better known to all who are trying to improve care, and also applicable to whole populations, on a much wider scale," she said in an IHI announcement. "Now, more than ever, we intend to help our customers build bridges to the health care systems and the healthier communities of the future."