Hospitals and health systems play an integral role in advancing health, not just healthcare, in a community. However, all too often, that role is limited to downstream treatment focused on emergency rooms, pills, and prescriptions. In prioritizing treatment of the symptoms, we ultimately fail to address the root causes of disease impacting our health.
Those health challenges are problematic, not only for hospitals and health systems, but also for our country as a whole. According to the CDC, chronic diseases – such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity – affect half of all Americans and represent some of the most costly and preventable health challenges today. The reality is that this downstream approach is not only costing us in terms of our pocketbooks – it’s also costing us our health.
Photo by Puwadon Sangngern
A new report released by the de Beaumont Foundation, in partnership with the BUILD Health Challenge, explores the changing role of hospitals and health systems. The Conversations with Hospital and Health System Executives: How Hospitals and Health Systems Can Move Upstream to Improve Community Health report shines a light on how innovative hospitals and health systems are taking nontraditional approaches to community engagement by investing in cross-sector, upstream approaches tied to community health needs—and how others can implement similar approaches.
Through a series of interviews with hospital and health system executives who participated in BUILD, the report reveals:
- Key motivations for the organizations’ interest and participation in BUILD; and
- Best practices and insights on future upstream community-based projects.
Conversations with Hospital and Health System Executives highlights dynamic ways in which hospitals and health systems are leveraging their financial assets, medical expertise, political and economic clout, and vast regional and even national infrastructure to accelerate the transformation of community health. This study demonstrates how hospitals and health systems:
- Approach community health
- Measure impact of community programs
- Forge community-led partnerships
The report also includes accompanying “how-to” guides that illustrate how to implement best practices shared by participating hospital and health system executives.
If you’re ready to change the status quo in your own organization and help transform health, explore this report, and BUILD with us in your community.