Hospitals and health systems driving community health and prosperity

 

Hospitals play an essential role in the prosperity of not only their neighboring communities, but also in their regions and countries. Melinda L. Estes, MD, president and CEO of Saint Luke’s Health System in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, will discuss how—as service providers, employers, and vendor-partners—hospitals and health services can contribute locally, creating ripple effects that benefit entire nations on a massive scale at the World Hospital Congress.

 

As employers, the health care sector in America is robust and contributes substantially to the economic welfare of its local community. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, hospitals are the largest employers in many American cities. In the Kansas City metro area, Saint Luke’s—with its 16 hospitals and campuses—is currently the third largest employer and growing. While other industries experience single-digit sector growth—or even a decline, as is the case for Manufacturing—health care-related employment in Missouri has doubled. Since 1990, more than one-third of the jobs created in Missouri were in the health care sector alone.

 

Responsible for the livelihood and wellbeing of a surging number of employees, American health care organizations are navigating toward a number of initiatives that protect their employees emotionally, physically, and financially. They champion workplace violence prevention, human resource initiatives for balance and wellness, and better compensation models.

 

Through population health initiatives, hospitals and health systems are also vital to reducing health care inequalities. Population data collection and analysis help hospitals better understand the health needs of their community and explore the deficiencies that are failing our most vulnerable residents. In partnership with area social service providers, Saint Luke’s works to impact social determinants of health such as food insecurity and transportation. These collaborations are essential to improving community health on a regional and national scale.

 

With the use of innovative new technology and care models, hospital and health systems are also making care easier to access and more convenient. From traditional care models that require the construction of new towers filled with beds; to digital, on-demand solutions in virtual care; to innovative hybrid approaches that marry convenient physical facilities with an advanced suite of technological tools—each hospital meets its community needs differently but with a common goal to provide improved and more efficient care to larger numbers of people.

 

Melinda will explore the ways in which Saint Luke’s Health System—as well as other hospitals and health systems throughout the country—are contributing to the prosperity of their entire regions, and how these innovative models of care and best practices can be recreated, reapplied, or reimagined on a global scale at the IHF World Hospital Congress taking place in Muscat, Oman on 6-9 November 2019. Visit www.worldhospitalcongress.org for more details.