In the United States, hospitals and health systems frequently function within silos and operate at or near capacity. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this paradigm of fragmented care delivery has proven problematic because individual hospital and health system resources can be quickly overwhelmed by a surge in health care demand.1 The continued acute response and planning for the post-acute phase of this pandemic will require reconceptualizing health systems design and health care delivery within a social responsibility framework that manifests an ethical obligation for accountability to population health—the distribution of health determinants and outcomes across a community.2 The preliminary experience with COVID-19 has revealed that regional coordination of health care resources and capacity must go beyond individual hospital and health system silos. The social responsibility principles of equitable organizational governance, consumer safeguards, community engagement, and transparency should guide strategies to optimize population health when adapting the acute response and planning for the post-acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Author(s): Christina Cutter, Mahshid Abir, Christopher Nelson
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