VIDEO: The most socially responsible hospitals in America are…

The Lown Institute just announced their most socially responsible hospitals for 2022. Which hospitals make the Top Ten, and which succeeded despite having a high COVID burden?

Watch the launch event and discussion below, featuring the Lown Institute’s Vikas Saini and Shannon Brownlee, and hospital leaders Kate Walsh of Boston Medical Center and Judson Howe of Adventist Health Howard Memorial.

What makes socially responsible hospitals different?

As leaders of two of the most socially responsible hospitals in America Kate Walsh and Judson Howe have valuable perspectives on what it takes for hospitals to achieve across outcomes, value, and equity.

For Howe, being socially responsible means “knowing your sacred or social responsibility for those around you,” he said. “It’s about more than keeping your doors open, it’s about improving health beyond the four walls of the hospital.”

Walsh ascribed BMC’s success to their culture of “inquiry, restlessness, and humility.” Hospitals need to examine health equity not as a reaction to what happens outside the hospital, but internally within the hospital. They realized they had to change how they worked to fill in gaps in care.

“No one comes to work thinking, ‘I’m going to treat a patient inequitably’, yet our entire health system does that.”

Kate Walsh, president and CEO of BMC

The importance of Medicaid

Walsh also stressed the importance of caring for patients with Medicaid. More than eighty million people are covered by Medicaid, including most children in the US and most long-term care expenses. Medicaid has also paid for thousands of naloxone prescriptions, which are used to prevent overdose deaths.

“If you think about the big challenges we face in this country, Medicaid is in that space,” said Walsh. “Healthcare executives have this allergy to it because of what it pays,” when they should be embracing Medicaid, she said.