Future of Hospitals Will Be Discussed at First Friday Forum

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Dr. Thomas Rundall kicks off this year’s First Friday Forum lecture series.

    First Friday Forum (FFF) opens the new year on Jan. 4 with Dr. Thomas Rundall, who will discuss “The Future of Hospitals” at 1:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary of Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, 49 Knox Drive, Lafayette. Refreshments will be served in Fellowship Hall at 1 p.m.
    Dr. Rundall will take on the good and the bad of hospitals as he speaks on what lies ahead. “The care provided in United States hospitals saves lives and improves the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of patients every year. But hospitals are expensive to operate, and they expose patients to the risks of hospital acquired infections, medical errors and other types of harm,” says Dr. Rundall.
    He continues, “Hospitals are facing enormous challenges. Healthcare organizations are increasingly investing in outpatient clinics, same-day surgery centers, free-standing emergency rooms and micro-hospitals. Medicare and other payers are incentivizing hospitals and doctors to keep patients out of hospitals if at all possible and to reduce the length of stay if they are admitted while simultaneously pressuring hospitals to improve patient outcomes.”
    Dr. Rundall, however, points out that hospitals are an important healthcare resource uniquely suited to care for patients with complex illnesses and injuries. Given this conundrum, Dr. Rundall will address the question: How will hospitals change in the face of this turbulent environment and what are the keys to future success?”
    Dr. Rundall is the Henry J. Kaiser Professor of Organized Health Systems Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from Stanford University. A teacher at Cornell University in the Sloan Program of Health Services Administration for four years, he then joined the faculty of the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley in 1980 where he held many positions including executive associate dean of the School of Public Health.
    Professor Rundall has published across a broad array of topics and has been awarded the Filerman Prize from the Association of University Programs in Health Administration along with the Berkeley Citation for distinguished achievement and notable service to UC Berkeley. He currently serves on the board of directors, and is past chair of the board for John Muir Health. “Since health care issues appear to be at the top of the list of the public’s concerns, this is a most timely topic,” adds Nancy Holtzapple, chair of FFF. “Please come, and bring friends, to this free lecture.”

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