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Education and Events

Creating “Systemness” within Healthcare Delivery: Can Success be Proven and Shared?

ECRI Institute’s 19th Annual Conference on the Use of Evidence in Policy and Practice
A free public service conference

Held November 28-29, 2012, in Washington, DC, at the National Transportation Safety Board Conference Center.
View the conference biographies, presentations, and videos. 


Planned and organized by:
ECRI Institute*
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs*
Kaiser Permanente*
Sutter Health*
Health Affairs
The Milbank Memorial Fund
The Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania 
* Principal financial supporters of this free public service.

View a video overview of the "Systemness" conference 
by ECRI Institute's President and CEO Jeffrey Lerner
Graphic representation of “Systemness”
(click to enlarge) ​
View the video invitation click to enlarge
Conference overview
The American healthcare industry has undergone significant organizational changes over the past decade. The nation is rapidly aggregating into larger and more complex health systems that are vertically and horizontally integrated. The trend is being driven by both business conditions and government policy, such as policies encouraging the creation of Accountable Care Organizations, medical homes, and bundled payments. The current climate results in collaborations among entities that historically have not worked together. Some of these partnerships will likely face challenges that can be roughly characterized as stemming from “shotgun marriages.” The conference sought to determine which elements of more mature healthcare systems result in the best clinical outcomes, and whether the microsystems are transferable to smaller, newer, or less integrated systems.

ECRI Institute’s 19th Annual Conference, Creating “Systemness” within Healthcare Delivery: Can Success be Proven and Shared?, brought together a range of constituencies, including public and private providers and payers, policy makers, clinicians, industry, regulators, consumers/patients, and researchers. 

The conference’s examination of “systemness” ranged broadly, asking thought-provoking questions, such as:
  • What is "systemness?"
  • Which elements within mature healthcare systems result in the best clinical outcomes?
  • Are approaches taken by long-established healthcare systems transferable to smaller, newer, or less integrated systems?
  • Are financial incentives alone enough to drive change?
  • How can EHRs help improve "systemness?"
  • Do "transformation" units within health systems produce results?
Additional resources