Go Beyond the Acronyms to Effect Change in the Delivery of Care
The dilemma faced by many hospitals and healthcare systems is that organizational structure, branding, marketing, and even innovative incentive plans are not sufficient to render the significant changes needed within the front lines of the care delivery system. This is typically the area where providers, care practitioners, and medical staff are concerned. Simply put, organizing providers into new entities with novel acronyms on the door will not change the way those providers go about their business of delivering care to patients. Time and time again, we are being told that the traditional, fragmented care delivery model is no longer sustainable. That change not only needs to occur but it is, frankly, imperative.
While conceptually the idea of moving from a volume to value production model may be easy to grasp, and there may be good reasons to try and move the healthcare system in this direction, actually accomplishing this transformation on the front-lines of modern medicine is a very difficult task. In order to accomplish this change, a systematic approach to re-tooling the care delivery system will be needed and its value to healthcare organizations will be significant. Many hospitals have invested in alignment strategies with physicians, such as employment, ACO formation, or CIN development and many physician practices have become recognized as a PCMH or even patient centered specialty practices. But what does practicing in one of these entities mean to the providers when they come to work tomorrow and see their first patient as a member of an ACO or a PCMH? How will their usual approach to care delivery have to change and, more importantly, how do you go about making it change?