I both love and hate year-end best-of lists. I love them because they are curated to-do lists — books, movies and TV shows I'll likely enjoy — but I hate them because, again, they are to-do lists. Suddenly I've got to read five novels, see three potential Oscar contenders and binge-watch 28 hours of television all during the final frenzied weeks of the year.

With that in mind, and because this is Trustee's last issue of 2013, here's a better version of the year-end wrap-up. It's a review of what we've learned in 2013, and all you have to do is absorb it.

Affiliation: If you need a partner, don't wait. A stronger hospital has an edge in negotiations.

Physicians: Alignment means helping them to succeed while working together to deliver high-quality care.

Primary care: Use physicians more strategically while developing nonclinical roles to track and support patients.

Transformation: Other industries — banking, manufacturing, IT — have done it. Don't hesitate to borrow from their playbooks.

Patient safety: Put it in the strategic plan, review the metrics at every meeting and create incentives for executive and clinical leaders.

Bundles: They are an opportunity to standardize care around high-cost procedures and treatments while exploring your tolerance for risk.

Competition: It changes constantly, so keep an eye on nearby hospitals' movements. But remember that major employers that want to save on employee premiums are choosing providers from a national market.

Readmissions: Protect against penalties by investing in care coordination strategies like follow-up phone calls, house calls and developing handoff processes in partnership with post-acute providers.

Trustees: Bringing your best to every meeting has never been more important. And don't forget to rest up for 2014.