Practice Management

Richard Winters, MD, a practicing emergency physician and a physician executive coach, offered frazzled physician leaders pointers for resolving common problems that they encounter in their executive roles in a Harvard Business Review guest blog post.

Medical students at the University of South Dakota Medical School discussed the benefits of face-to-face experience after examining patients during a mock clinic in Sioux City, Iowa, that was hosted by Cardiovascular Associates.  KTIV News offered this report:

The cardiology profession, like healthcare, is in a state of flux. With large numbers of physicians at or near retirement age, there could be an exodus of talent. Today's newly trained specialists are finding that their career path bears little resemblance to that of their elders.

Foreign-trained immigrant physicians potentially could alleviate the expected shortage in physicians as healthcare reform moves forward, according to the New York Times, but restrictive policies prevent some doctors from practicing.

“You can do a lot of things and still do no harm – and often not much good, either.” In a “Hard Cases” column in the New York Times, Abigail Zuber, MD, describes her realization of how doing nothing beyond maintaining a doctor-patient relationship nudged a recalcitrant patient into doing something herself.

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) kicked off a program designed to reduce hospital readmissions using patient-centric approaches. The ACC will recruit 35 hospitals to develop its ACC Patient Navigator Program, which is supported by $10 million grant from AstraZeneca. Here is a video from the announcement.

Marketing intelligence firms that serve pharmaceutical companies apply sophisticated networking and data analytics to inform their clients about the prescribing habits of physicians as well as patient behavior. “Doctors tend not to be aware of the depths to which they are being analyzed and studied by people trying to sell them drugs and other medical products,” Jerry Avorn, MD, chief of the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said in a New York Times article.

Michael S. Emery, MD, a cardiologist at Carolina Cardiology Consultants in Greenville, S.C., shares his experiences as a medical volunteer at the Boston Marathon in a post on the American College of Cardiology’s blog, ACC in Touch. “Even though I’m a cardiologist and not trained to handle trauma, it really was about the basics of care – stabilize and evacuate!” Emery is co-chair-elect of the American College of Cardiology’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Section Leadership Council.

The New York Times featured Advocate Health Care, a nonprofit based in Oak Brook, Ill., in an article that details cost savings and improved quality achieved using an accountable care model. The effort is not without its own costs, though. Advocate “hired scores of workers to coordinate care and keep an eye on the highest-cost patients.”

Some service line champions are calling these structures into service to help them maximize their potential.