The Role of Academic Health Centers in the 21st Century

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Biomedical and Health Research, Health Care Workforce, Health Services, Coverage, and Access, Public Health, Select Populations and Health Equity
Board: Board on Health Care Services

Activity Description

This study examined the current role and status of academic health centers in American society, anticipated intermediate and long-term opportunities and challenges for these institutions, and recommended to the institutions themselves, to policy makers, to the health professions, and to the public, scenarios that might be undertaken to maximize the public good associated with these institutions.

The study

  1. Assessed the development, contribution and performance of AHCs in teaching, research and technology development, patient care including the provision of specialized care, and community service including caring for underserved populations.
  2. Evaluated whether AHCs are prepared to meet societal needs and expectations over the coming decades in the areas of a) an educated and trained professional work force; b) assessment of the value and cost effectiveness of new technologies and facilitation of their dispersion; c) provision of health care services to populations dependent upon them (e.g., uninsured, poor); and d) provision of leadership in relation to ethical and social aspects of health.
  3. Assessed the capacity of AHCs to carry out their multiple functions in an effective and efficient manner.
  4. Identified steps that can be taken by AHCs themselves, and by communities, policymakers, and others to maintain and enhance the performance of AHCs.

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