Hospitals and systems are facing an unparalleled force to change. Experts project that multiple pressures will transform care delivery and financing from volume- to value-based payments over the next decade. In this environment, hospitals must focus on performance initiatives that are essential in the short term and also will remain critical for long-term success.

In 2011, the American Hospital Association's Committee on Performance Improvement released a report aimed at helping hospital leaders prepare their organizations for this future. "Hospitals and Care Systems of the Future" identified 10 priority strategies and organizational competencies that organizations should establish to remain successful.

Building on the committee's work, the AHA's Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence initiative continues to develop resources to help hospitals navigate the journey from the first to the second curve. Most recently, HPOE released "Metrics for the Second Curve of Health Care," which looks at four of the strategies identified in "Hospitals and Care Systems of the Future":

  1. Aligning hospitals, physicians and other clinical providers across the continuum of care
  2. Utilizing evidence-based practices to improve quality and patient safety
  3. Improving efficiency through productivity and financial man-agement
  4. Developing integrated information systems

To further assist in strategy implementation, HPOE created a road map for leaders to assess their organization's progress in moving to the second curve. It can provide your organization with guidance on the metrics that will be important for the future, enable you to assess potential gaps and provide a path for planning future improvements within your hospital (or in affiliation with other partners).

Health care is changing faster than almost any other field. It's vital that your board understands the factors at play and ensures that your organization is preparing for the future. These resources, available for free at, provide a valuable first assessment.

Katherine Keene ( is COG chair and a trustee of Salem (Ore.) Hospital.