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Former ACP President: 'We Have to be More Efficient'

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 19, 2013

HLM: How else do you see internists working with hospitals when hospital care is to be avoided?

DB: You try new ideas to prevent utilization of expensive resources. A good example is after a total joint replacement, you get the patient home as quickly as possible with home physical therapy. That's more efficient than keeping them in the hospital for an hour of physical therapy every day for a week, and then sending them home."

HLM: How has your view of healthcare changed in your year as ACP president?

DB: I've never been more optimistic. People are frightened by change. But we have a lot of people working hard across lots of specialties to get this right. Does it mean everything will be smooth? No. It's going to take time to get the wrinkles out, and we'll make some mistakes.

HLM: What's the most important lesson you've learned in the last two years?

DB: That you have to play the long game, because you don't win every time. You have to recognize people will disagree, but you have to keep your eye on the long-term goal and don't destroy a relationship; just respectfully disagree and keep working on the same issues, pushing and trying, and get better science.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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