I had the great experience of joining the good folks, both physicians and practice managers, for a two day “Business of Medicine” conference hosted by the Mesa County (CO) Health Department. There are a whole lot of very interesting and truly leading edge goings on in this community of about 140,000, located in a valley in western
As an aside – practices are looking for several physicians, particularly family practice and some specialties.
They have earned boasting rights in several areas:
1. Hospital admission rates are about the lowest in the country, according to the Dartmouth Atlas, and outcome data suggests high quality.
2. There is a community wide electronic medical record exchange, QHN, involving the hospitals and 85% of the physicians. This network is expanding to neighboring counties. See this presentation.
3. The QHN organization gathered together about 30 practice managers to develop a data set for making referrals and for reporting back, using the electronic exchange.
I was particularly struck by the last item – I have seen all too many situations where practice managers are not treated with sufficient respect, nor are their experience and knowledge utilized.
I made two presentations as part of this conference. The first was an overview of key trends and strategic options for practices. On Saturday morning, working with Prof. Thea Chase of Mesa County Community College, we took a deeper look at local trends and data, and then used a 5 Step Business Plan model that I had put together and had the attendees put pen to paper. We ended up spending a lot of time discussing issues and ideas on their minds, but you know, that was more valuable to everyone – including me, I might add!
So, a public thanks for everyone for having me come out, and to everyone – attendees, especially – for an exciting conference.