Agent of Change

AHA is focused on transforming health and health care to fulfill our vision of a society of healthy communities where all individuals reach their highest potential for health. That means fostering leadership diversity, building innovative multi-sector partnerships, mobilizing members for performance improvement and offering “best-in-class” tools, products and services.

Advancing Diversity and Eliminating Disparities.
AHA is committed to accelerating progress on advancing diversity and inclusion and eliminating disparities in health and health care. More than 1,300 hospitals and health systems have signed the AHA’s #123forEquity pledge and more than 40 national and local organizations have endorsed it. Working with its Institute for Diversity in Health Management and other affiliates and partners, AHA has developed and shared with members a number of resources to help organizations on their health equity journey. In addition, we have honored hospitals and health systems who are leaders on this issue and shared best practices and strategies with the field, particularly at the Institute for Diversity’s 2016 National Leadership and Education Conference, which hosted more than 300 attendees. Visit to learn more.

Driving Performance Improvement. From September 2015 to September 2016, AHA’s Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) led the country’s largest Hospital Engagement Network (HEN). The AHA/ HRET HEN, part of the national Partnership for Patients initiative, included more than 1,500 hospitals across 34 states/territories, pledging to improve quality in 11 core topic areas. Accomplishments included:

  • Prevented nearly 34,000 patient safety incidents
  • Saved nearly $300 million in associated health care costs
  • Reduced early elective deliveries by 44%, post-operative venous thromboembolisms by 34% and surgical site infections by 21%
  • Ranked highest amongst 17 HENs based on Reporting, Achievement and Improvement Summary score from a national contract evaluator

Next-generation Improvement. As part of our commitment to quality, HRET was chosen in September 2016 as the largest of the 16 organizations for the new Hospital Improvement Innovation Network, or HIIN. This new effort builds upon the work of the two previous, successful HEN projects and will span two years with an option for a third. This new project will keep an unrelenting focus on providing better, safer care to patients – working in close partnership with the federal government and with each other – as the field strives for zero incidents.

In addition to the HEN, HRET works on a number of improvement projects with partners including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HRET also helps prepare health care leaders for the challenges ahead through the AHA Health Care System Transformation Fellowship and other thought leader resources.

Strengthening the Health Care Workforce. AHA’s Workforce Center is working to ensure a competent and engaged health care workforce by providing thought leadership and disseminating national and state-based resources, such as its recent guides on improving the behavioral health workforce and hiring veterans.

Getting People Covered. As it has done for the three previous open enrollment periods, AHA is offering a variety of tools and resources to support hospitals’ and health

systems’ efforts to help consumers enroll in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. AHA also developed an animated video in English and Spanish that hospitals and their community partners can use to reach young adults where they are and deliver the message that they have affordable coverage options. For more, visit AHA’s “Get Covered!” page at

Data & Coding. The AHA Annual Survey contains more than 1,000 inputs – covering an organization’s structure, service lines, staffing, expenses, physician organization structures, beds and utilization – from more than 6,500 hospitals. These data are made available through several electronic and print resources, including the AHA Guide, AHA Hospital Statistics, and the AHA Healthcare DataViewer.

The AHA Central Office is the official U.S. clearinghouse on medical coding for the proper use of ICD-10 and HCPCS codes. It also produces materials to help coders understand and implement official coding guidelines and is the go-to resource for coding advice.

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