Emory University
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Taking the long view, together

Chris Larsen John Fox

Debates and anxiety about “fixing health care” continue to dominate the national scene, and the urgency of finding ways to work together to improve access and affordability has never been more apparent.

As a leading academic medical center, we are called on to serve as a model of compassion, innovation, and value. We must offer both commonsense and extraordinary solutions, work in concert to make creative changes, and lead the charge for better health care for all.

High-tech futuristic innovations attract headlines, but we’re finding that workaday solutions are extraordinary in their own right. For example, the School of Medicine and Emory Healthcare recently announced a new initiative that will allow us to share resources, integrate planning and budgeting, and eliminate redundancy. We believe that continuing to improve everyday routines and practices may have the greatest impact on our ability to enhance quality of care while reducing its cost.

Speaking of quality, we are proud to have received a recent tangible indicator of our success. A national organization that focuses on quality and safety, made up of the country’s leading academic medical centers, recently ranked Emory University Hospital second and Emory University Hospital Midtown third in its 2013 University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) Quality Leadership Awards. The UHC rankings are viewed as the most non-biased and rigorous in health care. This truly audacious goal was not achieved individually, or even by a few. It took all of us working in tandem toward a common vision of team-based, patient-centered care.

In our drive to work together to save and improve lives, the three components of our mission—research, education, and patient care—are linked more inextricably than ever. Emory is a place where students and residents learn both skills and wisdom from their faculty mentors, where our patients teach us our most valuable lessons, and where colleagues from across disciplines discover ways to improve newborn screenings, malaria vaccines, stroke treatments, drug discovery, and on and on.

We must continue to look beyond traditional norms, structures, and expectations to find ways to meet our challenges head-on. A lot of people are counting on us to come through.

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