From Executive Education.The Baylor Physician Leadership Program

Article excerpt

An Answer to the Challenges of Health Care Today

Healthcare in the United States is experiencing upheaval like no other time in history. As recently as 15 years ago, a patient encounter in the healthcare system was primarily defined by the time honored doctor-patient relationship. Today, healthcare isn't so simple. The physician and patient are only two in a long list of health care constituents who have compelling and often competing interests-- employers, government, investors, insurers, healthcare systems and politicians.

It is almost impossible for physicians in medicine today to deliver high quality care at the bedside without also being able to deliver high quality results in the boardroom and in the business office. So, for physicians to be effective advocates for their patients, they must understand how the business community thinks. As part of business organizations (group practices, PHOs or IPs), doctors must guide their patients through an increasingly complex healthcare delivery maze. In doing so, they must avoid contracts that prevent them from delivering good care, must learn to implement continuous quality improvement programs, and must keep the cost of health care at an affordable level. These feats can only be accomplished by learning a new set of skills.

Medical school curricula are beginning to incorporate business instruction at a basic level, but most practicing physicians can only acquire these skills through additional instruction. …