From the Chief Medical Officer's desk
“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory." - W. Edwards Deming (U.S. business advisor and management theorist; pioneer advocate of quality control; instrumental in rebuilding Japanese economy after World War II)
Deming's quotation is very appropriate in today's medical climate. It is not clear what the future holds with a slow economy, health care reform, changing business environment and new groups entering the marketplace. It is becoming clear that maintaining the status quo will not lead to future success and Banner is positioning itself to adapt to these changes.
Everyone's crystal ball is very cloudy at the moment, but there appears to be some clear trends that will be occurring. The cost of health care and the rate of increase are simply unsustainable and will be a primary focus of change. The current method of payment (paying more for doing more) is felt to be a primary motivator of these increases. Therefore, there is a lot of focus on how this may change. Global payments, paying for all care including three days before admission and all readmits for the next 30 days, has been examined. Several pilot projects suggest this may be successful from Medicare’s point of view and as Medicare goes, so does the rest of U.S. health care.
Electronic medical records and the interchange of patient information and testing are also areas of high interest. New regulations on “meaningful use” are making it clearer what will be expected from the EMRs that we are all investing heavily in.
Change is difficult and can put strains on partners and relationships especially when economics and finances come into play. Communication and transparency are important to relationships and at BGMC we will do our best to live up to this as we hope you will. But most importantly, it is essential to give each other the benefit of the doubt and not to assume the worst of each other. And if all else fails, communicate.
“What you don't see with your eyes, don't invent with your mouth.” Old proverb