If there’s a common theme that the three featured speakers at this week’s annual MHA membership meeting shared, it’s this: each of us, both professionally and personally, has immense power to change people’s lives for the better.
Ben Nemtin showed us a path to achieve one’s lifelong goals and to receive joy by helping other people along the way.
Dr. Omar Manejwala shared how our professional roles and our systems of care must evolve to meet people’s changing needs, especially in the addiction arena.
Dr. Atul Gawande reminded us of the special role health care providers play throughout people’s lives. He focused on the period toward the end of life but emphasized that, at all of life’s stages, individuals’ own goals ought to be elicited and guide clinicians in their treatment plans. Clinicians must avoid performing services that may be ineffective in achieving patients’ goals or simply unwanted.
It’s these personal connections – between health care provider and patient or simply between a giver and a recipient of any kind of help – that enable those around us to live as good a life as possible, all the way to the end.
Each of our speakers pointed out how each of us is uniquely empowered in this way.
Take a moment to think about how many people’s lives you touch each day through the decisions that you make as a leader. The patients to whom you provide comfort by employing a dedicated, compassionate staff; the staff who feel trusted and empowered by their managers; the people you serve, who know that their hospital is there for them.
These lessons prompt a thought: The power you have as an individual grows exponentially when we work together.
Consider how much you’ve accomplished under the All-Payer Model. Gains made on readmissions reductions and Medicare savings translate into very meaningful changes for real people: less time in the hospital; the ability to go directly home after a hospital stay; preventive/primary care and, when appropriate, palliative care – all of which give people the chance to spend more time with their families, to do more of what makes their lives valuable.
These are just a few of the benefits that your hard work has produced. Now, as we unite under the new Enhanced Total Cost of Care model, your power, and the power of your hospital, to improve the lives of all Marylanders, will fulfill, as Nemtin quoted poet Matthew Arnold: “…a thirst to spend our fire and restless force in tracking out our true, original course…”