The health care field is in the midst of seismic change. Numerous factors — the evolving payment models, shifting patient and workforce demographics, political and regulatory pressures, the Affordable Care Act and more — are contributing to this upheaval. There are many paths to transformation, and hospitals and systems are in different places.

But no matter where your hospital is on the path, you undoubtedly are looking for ways to deliver better health, better care and lower cost — the Triple Aim. A profound cultural change already has begun within most hospitals, where teams from across the clinical spectrum are working together to improve quality. But reshaping health care for the future will require achieving a broader common vision — one shared by caregivers, administrators, trustees, community leaders and the general public.

To help boards gain a better understanding of the forces driving transformation and plan for the future, the American Hospital Association has created a series of educational tools. These toolkits will be hosted on a special section of the AHA website (www.aha.org) and will consist of:

  • a brief synopsis of the topic and why it’s relevant to your board
  • relevant reports and materials related to the topic that you can use to educate your trustees
  • a presentation that boards can use to drive discussion

New resources will be released three times a year.

The first toolkit centers on how hospitals and systems are redefining themselves as the health care system transforms from one based on volume and fee for service to a system based on a coordinated continuum of care, value and fixed payments. Future toolkits will focus on such topics as quality improvement, equity of care and population health.

We hope that your board will find these toolkits useful as you plan for your organization’s own transition. As always, we want to hear from you on how they can be improved. Please share your feedback with us at trustee-ed@aha.org.

Bina Eggensperger (bina@blackfoot.net) is COG chair and a trustee of Clark Fork Valley Hospital in Plains, Mont.