As the editor of U.S. News & World Report, I've been privileged to be part of some extraordinary gatherings of newsmakers and industry leaders on many important subjects. But I can't think of one that is more critical and timely than Hospital of Tomorrow – or one that has brought together a more impressive group of people.
Hospitals are at the center of a painful, messy, yet necessary disruption of the health care industry. The decisions made by leading institutions over the next year or so will have a profound effect on many lives.
We have followed the hospital industry and its consumers closely for more than 20 years. Our rankings have identified the Best Hospitals for the most seriously ill patients in specialties ranging from cancer to neurology to heart disease. Next year we will be broadening our coverage to identify top providers of more routine care, such as hip replacement and heart bypass surgery. We’re also expanding our mission.
This first annual forum will examine the most pressing challenges facing the hospital industry and try to surface optimal answers from the nation’s most distinguished health care experts and thought leaders. We come at this as journalists whose job is to convene the best minds and to moderate the discussion. We will serve as an intermediary between industry professionals, policymakers, academic experts and, most importantly, consumers.
We've worked with an advisory council, drawn from the nation’s leading and most innovative hospitals, to help shape a program that will delve into the front-burner issues. Those include population health, readmissions, strategic partnering, Big Data, staffing, EHRs, personalized medicine and, looming over everything, the Affordable Care Act, with all its vast reach and unpredictable outcomes.
Both the speakers and the audience are well-suited to probe these challenges and to see if consensus solutions can emerge.
Admittedly, this is one conference, and we don’t assume the problems of the world will be resolved. But it’s important to make a start, to create an informal network, and to achieve some continuity of thought. We intend this to be an annual convening, with opportunities to highlight individual topics on an interim basis. We’re pleased to have you join with us in this effort and look forward to working with you in the future.