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  • Writer's pictureAlan Shoebridge

AHA Leadership Summit recap: A look at the key takeaways and the road ahead for healthcare

After several years of missing out due to various reasons, I was finally able to attend the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) annual leadership summit.


This year, the event was held in Seattle – just a (relatively) short drive up the road from my home in Portland. There were some great sessions, and it’s always just energizing to join together with people who are focused on improving healthcare.


Here are some of the observations and insights that stood out for me during the three-day event, which also marked the 125th anniversary for the AHA.


👇 TLDR version: Five inspirations and observations


FIVE inspirations & observations AHA leadership summit
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Daily highlights

DAY 1

💡👇 Amy Webb "In 10 years from now, we’re not going to need more TikTok stars and influencers. We’ll need more healthcare professionals." "We need to lean into uncertainty with curiosity. We need to start asking ‘what if?" "What if AI assists with operations and administrative tasks rather than medicine?" -- 💡👇 Richard J. Pollack "Without an adequate workforce our entire health care system breaks down -- it’s as simple as that." "It’s in America’s best interest to keep hospitals and health systems strong." "We are continuing to focus on: retention; recruitment; building the pipeline to attract more people to health care; and creating new care models that make care more efficient." --

Picture of speaker presenting a slide.
Sara Vaezy is the EVP, Chief Strategy & Digital Officer at Providence.

💡👇 Sara Vaezy "Digital innovation drives sustainable growth for health systems." "We need to build a flywheel of engagement around people. We need to really know our users beyond just the clinical context."


DAY 2


“A recent AHA survey found that 75 percent of respondents said that diversity, equity and inclusion are vital to the future of health care for our hospitals and our country.”

“The pandemic forced us to embrace technology, helped us build diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging programs and protocols, to address bias and racism in patient care.”


DAY 3

A presentation slide showing trends in healthcare.
Top Ten Trends impacting healthcare from Ian Morrison.

💡👇 Ian Morrison


“Health systems have a lot on their plates. Omicron made it even more difficult.”


“There is a broken relationship between revenue and expenses. Since COVID, expense growth has outpaced revenue growth. Health systems are turning the corner a little bit.”


“All Baby Boomers finally arrive in Medicare by 2030. Medicare Advantage will dominate.”


“We should be talking about national long-term care plans. We need to find a way to support the aging population in getting care at home.”


“The future of healthcare is health systems and disruptors getting together and learning from each other.”

--

💡👇 Gen. Stanley McCrystal (retired)


“When someone brings a difficult decision to you, you often don’t make it – you avoid it.”


“Difficult situations just seem to come up in life, especially for people who lead.”


“Things are different when you are in charge.”


“When your environment changes, you have to change.”


“Does your organization have a team of teams or a team of silos?”

--

💡🗨️ Closing thought

This year's AHA leadership summit flew by. As noted above, the conference featured many thoughtful and inspiring conversations. This quote from Ian Morrison’s talk really stood out to me:


“The future of healthcare is health systems and disruptors getting together and learning from each other.”

Why does this resonate?


Because the needs in healthcare are too big for any one entity – traditional healthcare organizations or a disruptor like Amazon or Walmart - to solve without some level of collaboration.


To really be successful in serving needs, we must find ways to co-exist and figure out how we can make the country’s healthcare system better.


It will be helpful if both sides work together and can be realistic about where they can add value and have an impact on access, health outcomes, etc. That would benefit the public immensely.


Can we do it? Yes!


Will we do it? I don’t know.


Let’s hope so.



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