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Richard David­son, who served as pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Hospital As­so­ci­a­tion for 16 years, and was a long-time cham­pion of hospital qual­ity mea­sure­ment, died last week at age 79.

David­son was the sec­ond longest­serv­ing pres­i­dent in the trade group’s 118-year his­tory. From 1991 to 2007, he led na­tional ef­forts to pub­li­cize hospital qual­ity in­for­ma­tion, and en­gage com­mu­nity care net­works to im­prove pa­tient care. The ef­fort is con­sid­ered the pre­de­ces­sor to ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“Dick was an in­no­va­tive and vi­sion­ary leader, a con­sen­sus builder, and a friend and men­tor to many through­out our field,” cur­rent AHA Pres­i­dent and CEO Rick Pol­lack said in a state­ment.

David­son helped to found the Hospital Qual­ity Al­liance, a pub­lic/pri­vate partnership that was in­stru­men­tal in creat­ing the Hospital Com­pare web­site.

In a 2012 pro­file of David­son upon his in­duc­tion into the Health Care Hall of Fame, spon­sored by Mod­ern Health­care, David­son re­called that dur­ing an ini­tial meet­ing with of­fi­cials to dis­cuss ways to im­prove health­care trans­parency, law­mak­ers, mem­bers of the Joint Com­mis­sion and other lead­ers re­al­ized, pri­mar­ily through David­son’s prompt­ing, that they were all try­ing to do the same thing. By the end of that meet­ing, the group had a shared vision that led to the cre­ation of the al­liance in 2002. The group in­cludes the AHA, the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion and the Joint Com­mis­sion, among oth­ers.

An­other of David­son’s ac­com­plish­ments was the AHA’s In­sti­tute for Di­ver­sity in Health Man­age­ment, which was a di­rect re­flec­tion of his core val­ues.


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