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The tangible benefits of physician engagement

March 25th, 2015

by Barry Ronan

I am often asked how I engaged physicians as we were transitioning to value-based care delivery. After conferring with my executive team, I created the President's Clinical Quality Council, which proved to be an excellent way to engage our providers. I asked six physicians who were the early adopters on the medical staff if they would join the council. I then asked them to identify six of their colleagues whom they thought would be strong additions to the group. They provided me with a great list from which to choose, and the council was assembled.

These 12 physicians from a variety of disciplines joined me and the other members of the C-suite on a monthly basis to exchange ideas, concepts, issues and even complaints in an effort to better prepare the medical staff for value-based care delivery. All of the physicians were paid for their time and were exceedingly helpful in our meetings, as well as outside of the meetings by educating their colleagues on our transition from a volume-based care delivery model to one that was value-based.

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How teamwork, trust and improved communication reduce mistakes in the ER

March 25th, 2015

by Ilene MacDonald

It's so easy to think you've communicated a message clearly. After all, you understand the instructions, so it only stands to reason that the person receiving them must also understand what you meant.

And though most misunderstandings can be cleared up quickly in everyday situations, studies show that they pose a significant danger for patients when signals get crossed. In fact, an estimated 80 percent of the most serious medical errors in hospitals are linked to miscommunications.

To combat miscommunication in the emergency room, one Sheridan Healthcare physician is leading an effort to practice communication drills with his teams at Baptist Hospital of Miami. The program, based on the aviation industry's crisis or crew resource management, uses checklists and specific protocols to promote teamwork and communication.

I recently had a chance to talk to David Mishkin, M.D., and Paula Barrass, an assistant nurse manager, about the program at Baptist Hospital and how it dramatically improved teamwork and collaboration after team members received just a few hours of training.

>>Read the full commentary at FierceHealthcare

CO-OPs still searching for their Holy Grail

March 25th, 2015

by Brian Eastwood

Several minutes into "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," two men wander through a medieval village. "Bring out your dead," they shout as they pull a cart of plague-stricken corpses.

One resident offers a corpse, but the collectors quickly discover he's not dead yet. "I feel happy, I feel happy," he sings in an halfhearted effort to convince everyone he won't be dead by Thursday. "I think I'll go for a walk now."

Eventually, the increasingly frustrated collectors whack the man in the head with a club, add him to their cart and head on their way.

The scene came to mind when I saw the latest expert report on the Affordable Care Act's consumer operated and oriented health plan (CO-OP) program. Are CO-OPs dead yet, or do they feel happy? Unfortunately, answering that question is tricky.

That report comes from the Commonwealth Fund, which found some CO-OPs thriving and others struggling. That builds on previous reports from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and A.M. Best that essentially said the same thing. Some seem destined for that cart, while others appear ready to dance with the Knights of the Round Table.

>>Read the full commentary at FierceHealthPayer

What hospital leaders should know about urgent care centers

March 25th, 2015

by Andrea J. Simon

I have been working with a hospital's urgent care centers to address the emerging issue of how to create experiences that are differentiating and of value to their customers. Not patients--customers.

Already, there are 26 urgent care centers in the urban-suburban area this hospital serves, with lots more coming soon. Talk about competition!

With urgent care centers popping up everywhere, safeguarding the "brand" is more important than ever, but all too often overlooked.

As an anthropologist, I always love to watch change coming, first as a dribble and then as a roaring tidal wave. As we were researching the state of the urgent care center from a customer experience perspective, interestingly there was nothing much to find. However, we found some other things that were well worth sharing with our Hospital Impact audience.

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Patient and family engagement: Healthcare's two-way street

March 19th, 2015

by Jason A. Wolf

A lot has been written and materials developed of late around the idea of patient and family engagement. One of the most significant and important contributions in this effort has been A Roadmap for Patient & Family Engagement in Healthcare, produced by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the American Institutes for Research. This comprehensive publication identified patient and family engagement as "bringing patient and family voices to decisions about care, to healthcare organizational design and governance, and to public policy" and it offered the goals of engagement are aligned with the Triple Aim: patient experience of care, better population health and lower cost.

The engagement conversation is a critical one for healthcare, but from many perspectives continues to ring of something healthcare delivery organizations should "provide." It suggests a one-way responsibility to create engagement. Yet, engagement in the simplest of terms is powerful in that it is focused on fostering a sense of involvement, understanding and ownership from those in an interaction. In healthcare, this level of involvement in care, understanding and ownership comes from more than working to create engagement--it is born from the very experiences patients and families have with the system and how they choose to respond.

=> Read more!

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