For 13 years now, Johns Hopkins Medicine International has held our version of a family reunion. Johns Hopkins Medicine International Partners Forum brings together leaders, care providers and researchers from our nearly 20 affiliates in 15 countries. Some years, the extended “family” comes to us in Baltimore. Last week Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá, with whom we have been working since 2011, hosted all of us at its hospital in the beautiful capital of Colombia (pictured above).

Partners Forum is an opportunity for leaders from Johns Hopkins Medicine and many of our global affiliates to step back and see the bigger picture of health care. By bringing so many great minds to the conversation, we’re able to think beyond our own opportunities and challenges to look for universal ways to improve the health of people and the communities they call home.

We typically focus the event around a hot topic in health care, one that has bearing on patients and health systems around the world. This year that theme was “Driving Value in Health Care: Global Perspectives and Solutions.”

In today’s health care environment, treatments have gotten increasingly more complex—and much more expensive. We base our model on the volumes of services rendered, instead of on the long-term benefit for the patient. We know this isn’t sustainable. But we also know it’s going to be an incredibly tough model to change.

As health systems everywhere struggle to address challenges associated with cost, efficiency and patient satisfaction, I was thrilled so many leaders, clinicians, educators and investigators from our affiliates and from Johns Hopkins Medicine joined us at Partners Forum to add their contributions to our discussion.

Over the course of the two-day event, we took a deep dive into how we can rethink our models for delivering care and redefine value around our patients—their needs and their expectations. Broad themes included reducing unnecessary medical tests, ensuring positive patient experience in the midst of change, expanding the role of nursing in driving value and preventing disease through precision medicine.

Through presentations and in-depth conversations, we shared innovations, sparked collaboration and gained insights into how we can increase our accountability for the cost, quality and efficiency of the health services we provide to our patients. I came away energized and more committed than ever to helping create well-functioning health care systems around that world that focus on value—not volume. That’s how we’ll deliver the promise of medicine.

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