NEW YORK CITY — As the Non-Profit Health Care Investor Conference wrapped up for the 15th consecutive year, it's interesting to note how the tone of the meeting has changed.

In the beginning, the focus was on hospital leaders laying out their financial pictures to officials from the bond markets and rating agencies. CFOs dominated the podium time and spreadsheet-like slides filled the jumbo screens bookcasing the stage. Over time, broader organizational strategy has become the focal point. Ingrained in that, an emphasis on different, and arguably more important, metrics: Quality and safety.

Memorial Hermann is a prime example. President and CEO Dan Wolterman detailed how the Houston-based health system has made safety and quality the underpinning for everything. I had the chance to chat with him about Memorial Hermann's focus on patient safety and what it's meant for the organization.

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