Healthcare reform, which is now well underway, needs compelling frontline leaders. This year, the American Medical Group Association (AMGA) conference hosted more than 2,100 medical leaders from the nation’s top healthcare organizations. These top medical leaders were eager to share their insight and tactics, learn successful processes from others, and play a role in leading the transformation of care delivery.
AMGA represents over 435 multispecialty medical groups with more than 150,000 physician members. The annual conference, hosted this year in Grapevine Texas, is attended by CEOs, CAOs, CIOs, medical directors, physician board members, etc. from large multispecialty medical groups, IPAs, integrated healthcare delivery systems, academic faculty practices, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and high-performing health systems. These healthcare leaders are looking for collaborative opportunities to gain and share information to help them confront the challenges they face in today’s volatile healthcare environment. AMGA 2014 set a new attendance record, creating awareness that there are strong leaders “tuned in” and seeking the knowledge necessary to embrace change and implement new processes and skills.
Mood Swing: From Anxiety to Focus
With healthcare in a time of tremendous change, the AMGA conference is intended as an opportunity to network and share ideas and to broaden leaders’ strategic thinking, preparing them to meet the challenges of healthcare reform. Orchard Software exhibited at the AMGA conference in 2013 and 2014 and noticed a striking contrast in the general “feel” of the 2013 conference compared to 2014. Anxiety loomed over last year’s conference, with healthcare leaders still trying to wrap their minds around the transition and determine how to best maneuver their organizations for success, including what to do with their laboratories. In comparison, the 2014 attendees have gathered their wits and are actively implementing successful processes to adapt to the value-based models, sharing those ideas with others, and leading the transformation of healthcare.
Leadership in Tumultuous Times
Each of the keynote speakers, Jim Collins, Carly Fiorina, and Ben Carson, M.D. spoke of the difficulties we face as a nation and shared leadership tactics for tumultuous times. Jim Collins summarized it well: he said that now is the time for us to shape the future of healthcare and encouraged leaders to “reach for greatness,” because as healthcare changes continue at a breakneck speed, “the mediocre will be crushed.” He talked of leaders keeping their overall purpose close at heart to guide them, saying, “For leaders to make something great, their ambition has to be for the greatness of the work and the company, rather than for themselves,” while pointing out that in our business this means focusing on the patient.
What’s All the Buzz?
Prevalent topics in the breakout sessions centered on:
• Culture change (for physicians and overall organizations)
• Combined efforts to improve quality and lower costs
• Physician scorecards/transparency
• Care teams (nurse navigators)
• Population health management
• Maneuvers from an ACO standpoint
• Merger process navigation
• Challenges of transition period between two types of payment models
Changes Still to Come
Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, AMGA’s President and CEO, explained that “uncontrolled variation is the enemy of quality,” giving credit to W. Edwards Deming. Dr. Fisher said that medical leaders will need discipline to follow best guidelines, and that if providers do not unite and determine these best practices, the government will.
Fisher, who has led the AMGA since 1980, paints it in a positive light, saying, “I can’t imagine a more exciting time to be working in healthcare.” Undoubtedly, the next five years promise a landslide of changes with practices tackling the challenges brought on by rapid practice transformation and expending efforts to learn new ways to cut costs and maintain quality. Healthcare leaders, including those in the laboratory, will need vision and a progressive outlook to face the future.
Changes in the Laboratory
From the perspective at the AMGA conference, it is clear that healthcare leaders are on a well-focused mission to develop and implement new processes and concepts that surround patient-centered care and population health management. Many of these developing processes depend on clinical data and analytics provided by the laboratory. As determinations are made regarding new clinical analytics needed to support these efforts, laboratorians can be an instrumental part of the team that is defining effective pathways to success. To support this effort, Orchard has written a series of white papers on the role of the laboratory and structured data in the future of healthcare.
Orchard is committed to keeping you informed and being a trusted resource that you can turn to for industry-related education. And as always, we welcome your feedback. Follow us on Twitter at @OrchardSoftware, and feel free to respond to this post by clicking the “Comment” link at the bottom, or by emailing us at email@example.com.
Kim Futrell, MT (ASCP)
Products Marketing Manager
Orchard Software Corporation
Comments (0) Apr 17 2014