The First. Achieve. Health. monthly e-newsbrief spotlights the research, trends and people driving positive change in health care delivery. It’s our channel to rollout new resources for you: the issue briefs, infographics and videos about care delivery in Mesa County.
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Innovation and integration
For first time in decades, U.S. life expectancy drops
Between 2014 and 2015, life expectancy for Americans fell from 78.9 years to 78.8. It’s not trivial: It was the first decline since the height of the AIDS crisis. Increased overdoses and suicides played significant roles, but most preventable deaths were the result of other causes, including heart and lung diseases. (Commonwealth Fund)
Employer role in guiding employee choices
“We have to enable plan members to follow defined care paths by offering consultative resources and setting expectations and accountability,” says Phil Brown, Mohawk Industries’ SVP of human resources. It’s “critically important” to help employees and dependents make good health choices. Expect more companies to provide guidance in 2017. (Atlanta Business Chronicle; U.S. News & World Report)
Lori Stephenson, RN, RMHP’s director of clinical program development and evaluation, on meaningful practice transformation
1. What are the benefits of practice transformation in a regular doctor’s everyday practice?
Stephenson: From improving care for patients with HgbA1c over 9 to optimal use of the EHR to track—and improve on—clinical quality measures (CQMs), our practices report the practice transformation process has led to tangible improvements. They tell us
- “It is so essential to move away from being one’s own litmus test and recognize performance compared to outside reference points, both for workflows and health outcomes.”
- “We have staff and provider buy-in that practice transformation activities can be meaningful and improve patient care, with an understanding that our efforts will impact reimbursement in the future.”
- “The only downside is the time required…[but] not devoting that time would be equivalent to ‘We can’t mess around with figuring out how to use anesthetics, we don’t have the time. Now go saw that soldier’s gangrenous leg off and tell him to quit whining!’”
2. Why are practice transformation efforts important to the provider community?
Stephenson: Transformation is about successfully managing change so it results in improvement and the ability to continuously improve effectively. The provider community–like everyone in the health care environment—is embroiled in the constant nature and rapid pace of change. Technological advancements, consumer expectations, new demands for measurement and accountability to support payment changes, and the focus on integrated services such as behavioral health, present daily challenges. Transformation efforts—supported by resources such as education, financial, facilitation and peer learning—are important for practices as they negotiate their way to sustainability.
3. What are the three most important things providers need to understand about practice transformation?
- Transformation is a journey: It takes time, patience and persistence and a culture of teamwork. As a journey, it really has no end because truly transformed practices are organizations and teams that continuously learn, improve and share.
- When the culture of the practice is to embrace change and evolve, transformation is a fulfilling “way of doing our business every day.” A practice effectively makes change work for itself and for and its patients.
- Transformation is not “checking the box,” having a consultant/facilitator telling a practice what to do, or a bundle of activities that the practice does and then “finishes.” Transformation is a pathway to making the business of delivering care to patients a satisfying career choice again.
Employers, employees and community
Most Millennials want in-person conversations about their emotional and physical wellness benefits–more than any other generation. About 41 percent of workers said their biggest complaint about their benefits program was infrequent communication. (Employee Benefit News)
Having fun improves employees’ ability to learn
Tools and Information
Issue brief: Put away the cookie cutters-not just the cookies: Workplace health and well-being won’t fit in a box features Michael Thompson, president and CEO of the National Alliance; and Stephanie Motter, CEO, Monument Health. (Monument Health)
2017 forecast: A new report from PwC identifies the top health care industry trends of 2017. Among them: a continued focus on value and an increased focus on nutrition as part of wellness. (PwC)