“Health:Further Festival” wraps-up today in Nashville

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

Did you know that the impact of the healthcare sector on Nashville’s economy is four times the impact of the sector that gives the city its famous nickname?

That was among a number of interesting facts revealed by speakers at the opening session of the annual “Health:Further Festival” (H:F) in Nashville Monday afternoon. The event, for which PYA, the power behind, is a major sponsor, concludes today.

Hayley Hovious, President of the Nashville Health Care Council, cited the statistic about the impact of the healthcare sector as she welcomed attendees to the three-day event. “The music industry has a $10 billion annual impact, while healthcare has a $40 billion impact,” she said.

The focus of Monday afternoon’s fireside chats had an entrepreneurial and innovation flavor, starting with a question posed by the moderator. Mike Bisell, President of Catalyst HTI, asked the attendees, “How many of you believe we can reimagine this industry that touches every single one of us in this country?” That’s exactly what his Denver-based organization is doing as it develops a 180,000 square foot innovation campus.

“Change is coming,” Bisell said, adding that “innovation is a mindset.”

Ironically, the month of August marks the 50th anniversary of one of the signature events in the evolution of Nashville’s healthcare sector. That was the founding of HCA, and the H:F organizers commemorated the event with a fireside chat with R. Milton Johnson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the corporation that has facilities in 42 cities.

Originally known as Hospital Corporation of America, Johnson said the name came from a friend of the co-founding Frist family. It was the Wilson family of Memphis that founded Holiday Inn of America.

Johnson shared some insights on the impact of HCA:

  • Has 250,000 employees;
  • Provides five percent of all hospital services in the country annually;
  • Has 30 million patient encounters each year;
  • Performs two million surgeries annually; and
  • Provides residency opportunities for 3,600 people.

“Those numbers are accumulated one patient at a time,” Johnson reminded the attendees.

As far as innovation, he cited improvements made in emergency room wait times. It was an average of an hour a decade ago, but now averages 11 minutes.

HCA is investing heavily in a number of areas – from data analytics to Sepsis detection and even the purchase of 100,000 iPhones to provide enhanced, secure communications among the care team.

“This effort (Sepsis detection) alone will save north of 1,000 lives a year in our hospitals,” Johnson said.

When asked Marcus Whitney of the H:F team about advice to entrepreneurs exploring opportunities in the healthcare sector, HCA’s CEO offered two thoughts. “You’re in a great industry for disruption,” he said. “You need to look at opportunities through the eyes of a patient.”

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