Monday, April 20, 2015

Key themes from the AAPL (formerly ACPE) Annual Conference #DocsLeadVegas15

Over the weekend, the American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL) held its first annual conference under its new name/brand. Formerly, AAPL had been known as the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) and you could still hear members refer to the group as "the college," as "ACPE," etc. I'm starting to get used to the new name and saying the acronym as "double A - P - L."

This year, some key themes focused on topics that would not surprise any of us:

  • The evolving role of technology: We're beyond "meaningful use" and we're now looking for ways to utilize technology effectively to improve patient care and clinical workflow. We're also looking at the future horizon where technology will enable health care providers to apply the latest clinical research and science when treating patients. Clinical decision support and analytic tools will help us navigate the complex world of precision medicine and genomics.
  • Redefining the value of physician leadership: There are already many physicians in leadership positions. We're seeing this growing. So, as more physicians gain leadership positions within various health care organizations, they are helping to redefine the value of physician leadership. AAPL is equipping those leaders to develop both their hard and soft skills so that they can be effective leaders within their organizations.
  • The shifting landscape from fee-for-service to value-based health care delivery. We've been talking about this for years, but now that SGR has been repealed, this transformation is becoming a concrete reality that will gain acceleration over the next few year. How will physician leaders 
  • Achieving physician engagement. There are still many health care organizations that are having difficulty engaging their physicians through major shifts and changes. This is where the physician leader plays such a crucial role in implementing effective strategies to engage those physicians. 
  • Redefining the team in health care. The traditional team is changing as roles/responsibilities get shifted and as patients play a more active role in their own health care as empowered, educated, and engaged patients. Effective physician leaders know how to inspire their teams. They understand teamwork. Some physicians may not like the shift away from independence to team-based, but they must accept these changes.
  • Innovation. Every health care conference seems to focus on emphasizing innovation. We need innovation in health care delivery to fix the broken health care system. Advances in innovations in biomedical science will continue as we discover new therapies and treatments, but we also need to see changes in how care is delivered and reimbursed. Innovation can start small. They can be little experiments. Those projects can be led by physicians and successful changes can be expanded. 
There were many concurrent sessions focused on quality and safety, value-driven care, leadership, and innovation. 

On Twitter, follow AAPL: @Physicianslead
This year, the Twitter hashtag for the annual conference is #DocsLeadVegas15

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