AHA launches Center for Health Innovation

With the launch of its Center for Health Innovation on Wednesday, the American Hospital Association intends to spread best practices and resources for improving population health and lowering healthcare costs, among other objectives.

The center will focus on hospitals and health systems, aiming to give them the information they need to make data-driven decisions to improve patient care.

“This is a pivotal moment for the field, as hospitals and healthcare systems face unprecedented challenges and opportunities,” AHA CEO Rick Pollack said in a statement. “The center will help us disseminate what is working as well as test new ideas to improve outcomes and increase value and affordability.”

Along with population health and costs, the center will also look at performance improvement, innovation capacity and “emerging issues.”

The center will also offer cybersecurity resources, including information on how to assess risk. “We’re looking over the horizon here at the AHA,” said John Riggi, the association’s senior adviser for cybersecurity and risk. “We’re looking for methods and procedures and processes that will improve patient outcomes while also looking for potential attendant risks.”

The center will differ from other industry efforts by focusing more broadly on the delivery model, AHA Board Chair and Carilion Clinic CEO Nancy Howell Agee said in an interview earlier this summer. By comparison, the Joint Commission Center for Transformation Healthcare delves into specific ways to improve care, such as hand-washing, she said.

The AHA has undergone sweeping changes over the past couple of years, with senior management turnover and the end of its print magazine. The organization is now working to develop public policy that’s more closely aligned with its members’ agendas.