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.