Six Insights We're Telling Hospital CMOs

Chief medical officers (CMOs) across the country have been telling us that the role of the hospital physician executive is dramatically changing in response to larger industry forces.

Here are six insights to keep in mind as you navigate those changes.

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Physician Executive Council members can also order free hard copies of this briefing.

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1. Today's CMO is running out of bandwidth.
Data shows that CMOs are investing more and more time in the health system of the future—such as thinking about cross-continuum care models and population management.

2. A new "CMO Team" of change agents is emerging.
This informal “CMO Team” brings physicians together to work on care transformation, variation reduction, and performance improvement.

3. Acute care hospitals can be leaders in care transformation.
Reimbursement pressures spanning both fee-for-service and risk demand that we look at improvement opportunities within the hospitalization itself—hospitals need acute care transformation now.

4. Increasing palliative care utilization is priority #1 for making inpatient care more patient-centered.
When delivered effectively, palliative care yields tremendous return in the form of improved care quality, reduced inpatient cost per case, and lower total costs of care.

5. Physicians have a unique—and critical—role to play in patient experience.
Physicians hold tremendous influence over the patient experience, and providing outstanding patient experience is a dimension of excellence in clinical practice.

6. Decreasing variation will require building a culture of evidence-based practice.
The key to accelerating change while avoiding physician and staff burnout is investing in a culture that is change-ready and where the right care is practiced a majority of the time.

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