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    Principle Healthcare Associates is an expert resource and dedicated advocate for Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Physician and Healthcare Executive job seekers. With many years of recruiting experience, we deliver strategies to help clients identify diamonds in the rough and candidates stand head and shoulders above the competition.

    Contact us at PHA email and be sure to visit us at PHA Website

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Achieving Health Equity in the Community, as well as, the Healthcare System

Achieving Health Equity in the Community, as well as, the Health Care System

As we reach the final days of National Minority Health Month, one Healthcare Executive article recently caught my eye.  In John Buell’s, “Equity of Care”, the author stipulates that healthcare systems must focus on six key elements in order to truly achieve quality care.  In absence of efficiency, effectiveness, safety, timeliness, patient-centeredness or equity, Buell contends that institutions are not meeting the mark.  While progress is being made on the first five ingredients, equity is described as, “the last fundamental piece that many hospitals have struggled to achieve but one with which some clear progress is being made.”

According to the author, “equity is achieved by providing care that does not vary in quality on the basis of patients’ personal characteristics such as ethnicity, gender, geographic location and socioeconomic status.”   With the diabetes-related death rate of blacks in the U.S. almost twice that of whites, Dr. Joseph R. Betancourt, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard and Director, the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, asserts that social determinants and access to care are the leading contributors to racial and ethnic disparities.  Dr. Betancourt also points out that, “hospitals are not purposefully treating patients differently, but it may mean that hospitals are not doing the extra things to meet the needs of the diverse populations.”

So, what can be done to reverse this trend?  The Disparities Solutions Center provides the following recommendations:

  • Create a disparities committee or task force – multidisciplinary team charged with what is being done to identify and address disparities, including whether or not patients’ race and ethnicity are being collected.
  • Build a foundation to address disparities, including data collection and stratification of quality measures
    • Develop medical policies
    • Finalize a strategic plan with one, three and five year goals
    • Assign leadership and raise awareness with internal and external constituencies
    • Create a dashboard for monitoring assigned measures and standardize processes
    • Develop pilots to address disparities
    • Evaluate, share and re-engineer

While not explicitly addressed at this level, it also remains critical to note that a multicultural workforce  provides a sense of community for prospective patients and resource for creative recommendations to better serve their brethren.  Engaging patients beyond the hospital walls to educate and empower them for better health also holds great promise.  With 45% of the fastest growing segment of the population owning smartphones, are we harnessing this engine to effectively reach Hispanics regarding their significant predisposition to diabetes…and the means to avoid it?  For that matter, is the U.S. taking serious note of the innovative preventive and service delivery measures that less developed countries are employing?  Last but not least, technology is merely an enabler and achieving true equity demands fundamental reassessment of ‘health’ in the community, as well as, the healthcare system.

Principle Healthcare Associates is an expert resource and dedicated advocate for Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Physician and Healthcare Executive job seekers. With many years of recruiting experience, we deliver strategies to help clients identify diamonds in the rough and candidates that stand head and shoulders above the competition.

Contact us at PHA email and be sure to visit us at PHA Website

Innovation: Aligning Physicians and Hospitals to Create Sustainable Health Care Delivery

Innovation:  Aligning Physicians and Hospitals to Create Sustainable Healthcare Delivery

According to a recent HealthLeaders Media Industry CEO report, the biggest strategic challenge facing hospital, health system, and physician group practice chief executives is care coordination and the continuum of care.  While 30% of respondents selected this answer, 17% of CEO’s felt that improving patient flow and patient experience were equally important.   I, dare say, the two go hand in hand.

The Mayo Clinic, a distinguished leader in health service delivery, recognized the need for patient experience transformation and forged ahead with the development of the Center for Innovation (CFI).  With goals of understanding human needs, innovating care delivery, fostering open collaboration and generating economic value, the CFI’s approach is to work with a ‘think big, start small and move fast’ philosophy focused on connection, design and enablement.

During their tenure as Chair and Associate Chair of the Medicine Department in the early 2000’s, Drs. Nicholas LaRusso and Michael Brennan founded a small laboratory, SPARC, standing for See, Plan, Act, Refine, Communicate, with the goal of delivering more efficient care for improved patient experience.  Within six years, their experiment in medical practice innovation blossomed into a full-fledged enterprise- wide strategy, culminating in the creation of the CFI.  Recognizing the benefit of outside counsel, Dr. Larusso tapped designers from across the country to come to the campus to describe the discipline of innovation in service provision. In 2007, these educational efforts were featured in a conference sponsored by the Department of Medicine called the “Transform Symposium”, which continues on an annual basis today.

Strategically focused on five platforms consisting of a) the Mayo Clinic Connection, b) Prediction & Prevention, c) Wellness, d) Destination Mayo (outpatient experience) and d) Innovation Culture & Competency, it is intriguing to note the focus on factors beyond the traditional clinic walls.  Utilizing the experience of physicians, scientists, nurses, administrators, designers, analysts, software programmers, engineers, legal and HR liaisons, the CFI provides a platform to advance strategic efficiency and patient experience initiatives, further the Mayo brand and test drive captivating technology.

And, not only is this forward thinking institution demonstrating an effective recruitment strategy for drawing providers and clinicians to a pioneer in the use of architecture and design for promotion of healing the whole person, it is also successfully engaging staff creativity and enhancing employee loyalty & productivity.  While no denying the results, the CFI creates a compelling business case for using innovation to align physicians, scientists, nurses, allied professionals, administrators and associated healthcare staff to create sustainable health care delivery.

Principle Healthcare Associates is an expert resource and dedicated advocate for Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Physician and Healthcare Executive job seekers. With many years of recruiting experience, we deliver strategies to help clients identify diamonds in the rough and candidates that stand head and shoulders above the competition.

Contact us at PHA email and be sure to visit us at PHA Website

Can Regional TEDMED Communities Cultivate and Implement Healthcare Innovation?

Can Regional TEDMED Communities Cultivate and Implement Health Care Innovation?

Given the intense scrutiny of recent advancements in health service delivery, it was refreshing to see that TEDMED 2012 drew a compelling crowd to the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC.  TEDMED, a community of people who are passionate about imagining the future of health and medicine, engages around 3 core beliefs:

Connect
They believe that connecting people from widely different disciplines leads to surprising insights and important alliances.

Understand
They believe that multi-disciplinary connections offer new and more powerful ways to understand today’s complex health issues, incorporating society and behavior as much as science and technology.

Inspire
They believe that multi-disciplinary understanding provides valuable inspiration to their members, the nation and the world.

One way in which TEDMED hopes to stimulate connection, understanding and inspiration is through the Great Challenges Program.  Through this initiative, they hope to explore cutting-edge ideas and unusual perspectives in order to gain a broader, richer understanding of these issues.

During the TEDMED gathering in Washington, advocates are assigned to individual challenges and circulate amongst the TEDMED 2012 delegates, discussing the nature of the issue and ‘lobbying’ for votes.  Once votes had been tallied for both on and off-site delegates, the top 20 challenges were announced:

Inventing Wellness Programs Causes of Sleep Deprivation
The Caregiver Crisis Impact of Poverty on Health
The Role of the Patient Faster Adoption of Best Practices
The Obesity Crisis Impact of Stress
Achieving Medical Innovation Future of Presonalized Medicine
Managing Chronic Diseases Promoting Active Lifestyles
Medical Communication Preparing for Dementia
Reducing Childhood Obesity Addressing Healthcare Costs
Making Prevention Popular Whole-Patient Care
End-of-life Care Eliminating Medical Errors

New to me, the Great Challenges program fosters year-long dialogue and invites everyone to take part.  Not only will TEDMED presenters be interviewed for a series of TV program style segments called “Perspectives”, a series of 40 webinars – 2 per Challenge – will also be made available for public consumption.  While these efforts are to be lauded, I am wondering why stop there?

After reading Ari Wallach’s Career Solution: Become A Real-Life Problem Solver, I was struck by his comment, “there is a false premise that innovation is about ideas. (But) ideas are actually relatively simple to come up with. True innovation is about culture and execution.”  Building on this premise, would it be EXTRAordinary to think that regional TEDMED communities could go about the task of cultivating, sharing and implementing healthcare innovation?

Principle Healthcare Associates is an expert resource and dedicated advocate for Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Physician and Healthcare Executive job seekers. With many years of recruiting experience, we deliver strategies to help clients identify diamonds in the rough and candidates that stand head and shoulders above the competition.

Contact us at PHA email and be sure to visit us at PHA Website

Will Innovation Bring the Promise of Transformation in Healthcare?

Will Innovation Bring the Promise of Transformation in Health Care?

Easter is a festive occasion, especially if you have little ones around.  Copious plans will be hatched around dyeing eggs, purchasing candy and preparing for the annual hunting of the Easter bounty.  With Lent coming to a close, so too winds down this season of patience and perseverance.  Theoretically ‘outfitted’, we now enter a period of resurrection and renewal.  Spring has sprung, and with it comes the promise of hope and transformation.

Similar to the Easter holiday, will the meaningful use of healthcare information stimulate the renewal of the care delivery system?  As noted by former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Dr. David Blumenthal, in Harvard School of Public Health’s Decision Making:  Voices from the Field video series, sound decision making facilitates the generation of ideas – INNOVATION –  that can provide solutions and strategies to challenging global and domestic health problems.  Will, innovation, then, bring the promise of transformation in healthcare?

Principle Healthcare Associates is an expert resource and dedicated advocate for Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Physician and Healthcare Executive job seekers. With many years of recruiting experience, we deliver strategies to help clients identify diamonds in the rough and candidates that stand head and shoulders above the competition.

Contact us at PHA email and be sure to visit us at PHA Website