As the year comes to a close, the outgoing board chairman typically revisits what was accomplished during the year. This can make us feel good and, in some cases, tired. I am not going to do this, as I was recently told that the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror. I prefer to look forward. In that spirit, I would like to report on the most recent Indiana Hospital Association Board Retreat and how that discussion will shape the year ahead.
In late August, the IHA Board of Directors conducted a retreat focused on population health, as well as discussed the IHA strategic work plan for 2016.
At the board retreat, Dr. Brian Silverstein discussed authentic population management, stressing that it is not just an extension of hospital operations. The management of population health will require a fundamental new business model that will involve new governance, new leadership skills and new operations. Dr. Silverstein discussed the key components of population health management, including population monitoring, health assessment, risk stratification, health management interventions, program outcomes and program improvement. Many examples of population health models were discussed, but the evidence has shown that a single standardized model for effective population management has not been revealed. This fact will continue to be a challenge for hospitals and health systems.
Many employers in our state are ahead of us in their population management efforts, managing their employees through techniques such as employer-based clinics. They are using these clinics to implement new methods to provide employee benefits for their workforce. These same employers are using tools to assist their employees in shopping for health care services. As an association of hospitals and health care providers, we must be prepared to partner with these employers.
Attendees at the board retreat also discussed the IHA strategic work plan for 2016, which includes objectives in the areas of advocacy, education, quality, patient safety and community health, communications and member engagement, IHA operational sustainability, information resource development, and leadership. In addition to these items of focus, we all know that situations will occur that will require our attention in the coming year. We will all be pleased with the IHA office relocation that will occur in 2016.
Lastly, but certainly not least, I want all of us to wish Dave Wiesman the very best during his retirement. I know he will reflect back on his career managing IHA’s fiscal matters, all the relationships he has built in his time at IHA and his personal and professional accomplishments. But most of all, I am sure he is looking forward.
Looking forward to 2016, we will be faced with a presidential election, workforce development challenges for our medical staff and clinical areas, behavioral health and addiction issues, tax exempt status challenges, pressure to generate alternative revenue sources, and many other opportunities to impact health. These items will occupy our time, but as we continue to move forward as a health care industry, it is my desire that we never lose sight of the patient. It is not how many we have seen, but how many we have helped.
Thanks for allowing me to serve you this year. I have certainly enjoyed it, and I want to thank the entire team at IHA for their help, guidance and coaching. They are what makes the association successful. I look forward to Bryan Mills taking over as chairman; I wish him the best of luck and hope he enjoys this role and responsibility as much as I did.
President and CEO
Clark Memorial Hospital