April 16, 2021

From Struggling to Thriving: Adventist Health Care in the Inter-American Region

bna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

Leaders, board members, and administrators overseeing Seventh-day Adventist health-care institutions across the Inter-American Division (IAD) met on April, 6, 2021 to begin a series of networking meetings. Their goal, leaders said, is to build a shared vision of better service quality to the thousands of patients who come through their doors.

The video conference included more than 50 administrative officers from IAD’s 14 hospitals and 21 clinics and prominent partners from Loma Linda University Health and AdventHealth systems.

“During the past 10, 15, 20 years, you have been doing something extraordinary throughout all health-care institutions in Inter-America,” Franck Geneus, president of Adventist Healthcare Services Inter-America (AHSIA), said. “It’s been wonderful to see how many of these institutions are better shaped now than 10 years ago, when Adventist Healthcare Services Inter-America was established. The contribution of AHSIA and partners of Adventist Health International and AdventHealth systems were key for the [improvement] changes,” he added.

AHSIA was established in 2010 in association with Adventist Health International, with headquarters at Loma Linda University in California, United States. It is an organization that exists to strengthen and assist health-care institutions in promoting the physical, mental, social, and spiritual wholeness of humanity while fulfilling the church’s mission.

As health-care institutions have been coping with their challenges, it is necessary to work on a shared vision and find ways to improve the quality of care, Geneus said. “We can benefit from what we can bring together as a group, networking together to better figure out the best way we can keep moving forward.” Geneus has seen it firsthand after spending the past nine years as chief medical doctor of Hôpital Adventiste d’Haïti (Adventist Hospital of Haiti).

It’s about being inspired to achieve better outcomes as leaders to move Adventist health-care institutions from struggling to thriving institutions, Geneus said.

A shared vision with objective milestones toward developing a mechanism to improve institutions is vital, Geneus added, as he detailed characteristics to help grow institutions to be responsible, sustainable, resilient, accessible, secure, and safe entities through and through.

To move forward with the shared vision of upgrading health-care institutions, administrative officers were presented with an online tool provided by the Joint Commission International (JCI) designed for organizations to self-assess on the quality of patient care they provided.

Assessment or evaluation is the part of the process for improving and expanding each of the hospitals and clinics across the territory, Geneus said. “Our vision is really to begin to get all institutions in Inter-America engaged in this evaluation stage to have a broader picture of where each one stands while Joint Commission International assists us in analyzing the findings to advance in providing better quality health care.”

It will not be something that will take place overnight. Still, with health becoming more global with increasing threats, governments are becoming keener on making sure health-care institutions deliver high-quality health care, Geneus explained. “As Adventist health-care institutions, we must get deeper into this aspect and figure out how we can strive to move better to accomplish our shared vision.”

Institutions will have the opportunity to register and begin the process of self-assessment through the online JCI navigator this month, Geneus announced. Already, Puerto Rico’s Bella Vista Hospital has received approval by the JCI.

Leaders went over the vision that will be put into practice to align with the Adventist Church’s “I Will Go” mission initiatives outlined for health-care institutions in the IAD territory for the next five years.

Also, plans are underway to engage AHSIA institutions to participate in professional practices with administrators’ groups, doctors’ groups, and nurses’ groups to discuss challenges and share experiences and solutions in the quest to deliver overall high-quality care.

The next AHSIA quarterly meeting is scheduled to take place on July 6, 2021.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.