The American Hospital Association's list of insights into what will help hospital leaders navigate change in the year ahead.

AHA Environmental Scan: Trends that Are Shaping Health Care

Finding common themes and insightful trends in the health care field in this time of transformation and uncertainty can be challenging. But we must if we want to be proactive and shape events rather than merely react to them. Understanding the current climate and the direction of health in America will help us in our work to shape the health care delivery system of the future.

AHA 2018 Environmental Scan coverThe legislative and policy work happening in Washington, D.C., and 50 state capitals is not the only driver of environmental changes. Advances in science, technology and information management; new models of care; changes in consumer preferences; and the growth of chronic conditions also play a large role. Addressing these issues provides us with the opportunity to find the best solutions for our patients and communities.

The American Hospital Association and America’s hospitals and health systems are seizing this moment and working to ensure:

  • Coverage and access for all.
  • High-value care.
  • Patients, families and other stakeholders are involved as partners.
  • Well-being and prevention.
  • Services that are provided in a coordinated, seamless manner.

We have organized the trends that will be felt in 2018 and beyond through the lens of this vision: ACCESS, VALUE, PARTNERS, WELL-BEING, COORDINATION. These five commitments are the basis of the AHA strategic plan and touch all hospitals and health systems, even while each hospital’s path to achieving these ideals may differ. We hope that hospitals and health systems use this Environmental Scan to address the trends in health care and to tailor strategies to specific community needs.

While we work to advance health in America through our commitments, we cannot ignore the political climate in which health care has become a key focal point. Our advocacy strategies include grassroots efforts to spread our message through mobilization of millions of individual supporters, grass-tops action to amplify our voice through key media and stakeholders, sustained engagement with top policymakers by our advocacy team, data-driven research regarding the impact of potential policy changes, and focused advertising through a variety of media.

We work hand in hand with our members, state, metropolitan and regional hospital associations, national health care organizations and other stakeholders to develop and implement our strategy. We have developed a forward-thinking advocacy agenda that aims to positively influence the environment for patients, communities and the health care field.

Our field knows how to be nimble, stay focused and manage change. These traits will help us to navigate the road ahead. We have the opportunity to shape our future to fulfill our vision of a society of healthy communities where all individuals reach their highest potential for health. Thank you for your efforts to achieve this vision.

Rick Pollack
President and CEO
American Hospital Association


Download the 2018 Environmental Scan