I work for the New Jersey Hospital Association, but our name – bestowed on us in 1918 in a much different era of healthcare – doesn’t fully reflect the depth and breadth of our membership. The Hospital Association truly is a community for healthcare, with our membership ranks including health systems, acute care and specialty hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living, home health, hospice, adult day care, pediatric medical day care and Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).
Our association, in fact, is a microcosm of a healthcare delivery system that is changing for the future. Our No. 1 priority is to provide our communities with healthcare services that are high in value and quality. Ironically, a big part of that goal is to keep people out of the hospital. That’s why you see our members adding fitness centers to their offerings, or why more services are delivered in ambulatory care facilities. It’s better for you as a healthcare consumer, and it’s also better for you as a New Jersey business because it’s helping us slow the growth in healthcare costs.
Improving healthcare quality also produces cost-savings, and you can read more about this statewide focus in the pages that follow. We recently completed the fifth year of our statewide hospital quality initiative called Partnership for Patients. We’ve used education, best practices, change models, and data to energize our entire healthcare team and promote a culture of safety that has had great success in improving inpatient hospital care. The result? We’ve averted more than 77,000 cases of patient harm, with an accompanying cost savings of $641 million.
Numbers are nice – they provide an important way to measure whether our efforts are achieving the desired results. But, the great thing about healthcare is that your success is also measured in more meaningful ways – like telling a cancer patient that she’s cured, helping a trauma patient get back on his feet, or placing a newborn baby in her parents’ arms for the very first time. Those are the moments that keep us rooted to our age-old mission of caring – even in a time of breathtaking change.
Elizabeth “Betsy” Ryan
President and CEO
New Jersey Hospital Association