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Give Your Physicians an Incentive to Lead

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, August 19, 2011

In terms of establishing standards, physicians aren't dictated to. Instead, Banner convenes various leadership groups which determine the ways to achieve quality of care and outcomes targets -- for instance, adopting standardized antibiotic administration -- based on physician-generated solutions, of which there are dozens.

In fact, Banner currently uses a group of physicians and other clinicians who meet in a series of clinical consensus groups to establish standards in 12 different areas.

"It's really designed to adopt clinical rather than operational standards," he says. "It's not designed to grow business like a typical service line."

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Why? Well, for starters, no one's exactly sure how patient care standards and outcomes measures will evolve over time.

"If we're all doing it the same way, we're more able to tweak it later," he says. "We believe if we're all doing it the same, we're a lot more likely to be able to improve than if we're all thinking we're doing it the best."

Banner's annual strategic initiative process measures clinical performance, and the publicly reported ones, such as pneumonia, asthma, and surgical care are essential, he says. They're measured on a scorecard that's reported transparently throughout the organization.

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