Prescription for Change

News, resources, and insights for the CMO team

The best of the Physician Executive Council in 2017

by Jennifer Stewart and Phoebe Donovan December 15, 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, it's the perfect time to reflect on the past year of research at the Physician Executive Council. In case you missed them, here's a sampling of the resources our members found most valuable in 2017.

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How to nudge your clinicians toward better behavior

by Jennifer Stewart, Taylor Hurst, and Katherine Diller December 4, 2017

In early October, economist Richard H. Thaler was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize for Science in Economics for his work in behavioral economics. Specifically, Thaler found that humans don't make decisions as rationally as was previously thought.

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The 1 question you should start asking your patients today

by Taylor Hurst and Gabbie DeCuir November 20, 2017

Renowned surgeon and author Dr. Atul Gawande recently hosted a conversation in Washington, D.C., following the re-release of his bestselling book on end-of-life care, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. We attended the event along with a few Advisory Board colleagues and listened to Dr. Gawande share his thoughts on topics ranging from health care reform to the opioid crisis to—of course—end-of-life care planning.

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Why your care standards may be failing—and how to do them right

by Jennifer Stewart, Katherine Diller, and Taylor Hurst October 18, 2017

Most clinical leaders confess that despite investing significant time and energy in achieving clinical consensus and building the "perfect" care standard, these standards are often left sitting on the shelf.

At most organizations, poor standard adoption isn't rooted in clinical resistance. Often, it's just too difficult to integrate new care standards into daily workflow. For example, most care standards require physical therapists to assist post-op total joint patients with same-day ambulation. But what happens to patients with late-day procedures when the physical therapist goes home at 4:30 p.m.?

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3 surprising ways health systems are scaling care variation reduction

Veena Lanka, MD, MPH October 2, 2017

As Advisory Board's Senior Director for Care Variation Reduction (CVR), I interact with a national cross-section of CMOs on a weekly basis. Many are now being held squarely accountable for generating 3-year cost savings of up to $300M by minimizing unwarranted variation in clinical practice. As a result, my time is increasingly dedicated to helping member organizations across all stages of this journey, from those just beginning to put CVR governance in place, to others in full flight rapidly implementing new clinical standards every quarter. Despite varying backgrounds and approaches, there is one challenge they all have in common—figuring out how to scale and sustain this process year over year.

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Don't miss these OPPE stories (with lessons that could save you 100s of hours of reporting)

Jennifer Stewart September 15, 2017

2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the Ongoing Professional Practice Evaluation, or OPPE. Despite its worthy goal of more regularly monitoring physician professional performance, organizations often consider the process to be burdensome—however, it doesn't have to be that way.

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Burned out physicians are organizing online to leave the field. Are your physicians a flight risk?

Jennifer Stewart August 31, 2017

Physician burnout has long been a topic of interest for us and our members, but physicians are no longer just griping about it around the water coolers—they're organizing. Recently, we've noticed an interesting rise in networking sites for burned out physicians looking for a way out of the medical profession.

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Why clinical decision support is the CMO's most important (but underleveraged) tool

by Mack Kelly and Gabbie DeCuir August 10, 2017

In the Physician Executive Council's 2016 survey of chief medical officers, it's no surprise that quality improvement, medical staff affairs and burnout, and care variation reduction topped the list of the CMO's most time-consuming and strategically important responsibilities. Clinical leaders have made notable improvements in these areas, but one tool—clinical decision support (CDS)—remains a grossly underutilized lever to advance the CMO agenda.

CMOs generally steer clear of health IT and informatics, often leaving these responsibilities to the CMIO. But the case for greater CMO involvement in CDS is compelling: The relative effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of CDS can make or break our efforts to influence quality, physician burnout, and care variation reduction—the CMO's three most time-consuming and strategically important responsibilities.

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