As healthcare reform becomes the new reality, the ability of institutions to survive depends upon the ability of the medical staff and hospital to align and integrate.
This is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared on Credentialing Resource Center on October 2, 2017.
From the Encarta Dictionary, the definition of alignment is “the correct position or positioning of different components with respect to each other or something else, so that they perform properly.”
If the hospital and physicians are not aligned, reaching the desired destination will be a significant challenge. The above definition works because the medical staff and healthcare system must become aligned to reach the Triple Aim of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which is:
- Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction)
- Improving the health of populations
- Reducing the per capita cost of healthcare
It certainly sounds like a noble task that should be relatively easy to accomplish, especially since making people better is what healthcare is all about. But ask any physician, hospital executive, or hospital board member if this is easy and you will be greeted with a resounding “no.” The medical executive committee must have a basic understanding of alignment, but what should its role be in fostering alignment?
According to an article in Trend Watch, “To achieve clinical integration, we need to promote changes in provider culture, redesign payment methods and incentives, and modernize federal laws.”
This involves the concepts of set, communicate, and achieve buy-in to expectations. An example of this is standardized order sets and pathways. The MEC needs to have oversight of the development process such that the most scientifically up-to-date evidence is used and that there is a method to decrease variation that does not add value.
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