Monday, April 26, 2010

My ReachMD commentary about physicians in leadership

At the end of this week, I'll be attending the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) annual conference. Isn't it fitting that I should also discuss physician leadership on ReachMD? You can hear my ReachMD commentary titled, "Physician Executives & Healthcare Change."

Some of the biggest problems we face in health care revolve around increasing costs, medical errors, resource overutilization, poor population health management, and wide gaps in access to healthcare in many parts of this country. I don’t think anyone would argue against the claim that our health care system needs improvement. And one way to bring about positive change is to have physicians step up and take executive positions.

In a recent Harvard Business Review article titled, “Turning Doctors Into Leaders,” Dr. Thomas Lee writes that “health care today needs a new breed of leaders” who are focusing more on “value-oriented, performance-driven health care.”

When physicians participate in administration, their ability to make decisions is based in part on their deep familiarity with the needs of clinicians and patients—and will lead to performance improvements in health care delivery. Physician leaders are in a position to make appropriate decisions around medical progress and the utilization of technology resources, and help our country save on health care costs.

All physicians need to recognize their changing role, as health care changes. But we also need a group of physicians who will be leaders, who will ensure that those changes are positive for the entire health care field.

You can find out more about my take on non-clinical careers for physicians by visiting my blog. And while you’re there be sure to participate in this week’s ReachMD poll: “Where do YOU think physician-executives have the greatest opportunities to improve health care?”

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