An American Hospital Association (AHA) white paper released last week outlines the seven core competencies that every new physician should demonstrate by the end of their residency and explains hospitals' role in their development.
Noting that hospitals and physicians will need to collaborate more closely as the federal health reform law takes shape, AHA regional policy boards governing councils, and committees identified the following core competencies that every physician should master to deliver team-based, value-driven care:
Medical knowledge: Possess knowledge of biomedical, clinical, and cognate sciences and their applications to patient care.
Patient care: Provide compassionate, appropriate, and effective care to patients.
Practice-based learning and improvement: Evaluate and improve care practices.
Systems-based practice: Provide cost-conscious, effective patient care that promotes patient safety and coordination with other providers.
Professionalism: Commit to responsibilities while adhering to ethical principles and remaining sensitive to diversity.
Interpersonal and communication skills: Possess skills that allow for effective information exchange and coordination.
Use of informatics.
- What hospitals and medical schools can do
To ensure that physicians enter the medical work force with the necessary skills, the AHA groups recommended that medical schools and hospitals expand inter-professional training and education around population health management, palliative care, resource management, medical economics, organizational governance, and health policy.
According to the white paper, hospitals should understand how they can "increase the valuation of the competencies throughout their organizations and specifically the role they can play in helping to ingrain the competencies into training programs."
Specifically, the AHA groups say that hospitals should "create an environment that fosters the development of and continuously supports the competencies so that they are not an isolated activity, but rather ingrained in every transaction and exchange." In addition, they say hospitals should offer feedback on physicians' efforts around the competencies, provide tools for improvement, and involve physicians in the full scope of care delivery and business (Combes/Arespacochaga, AHA white paper, June 2012 [registration required]; Brimmer, Healthcare Finance News, 7/17).