I have a pretty well-rehearsed answer for anyone who asks me what my role is all about. For those unfamiliar with the North Shore-LIJ Health System, I rattle off a few key statistics (16 hospitals, $7 billion in revenue, 48,000 employees) and then give a brief description of our clinical service lines, the ambulatory services division, which provides operational and back-office support to our physician practices, and the medical group, which integrates clinical services. For those who already know who we are, or press me on what I personally do, I usually say that my job is all about supporting and linking the service lines, and ultimately transforming our “federation” of almost 400 separate physician practices into a “high performing multi-specialty group practice.” It is, I often add (especially when someone replies with “good luck with that”), a “generational effort” that I don’t expect to complete any time soon.
Despite the obvious enormity of the task, my optimism about our ultimate success got a big boost at our recent Second Annual Medical Group Retreat. Our first retreat was held in January 2013, and shaped the path that we followed last year – building our quality program, enhancing our communication channels (including this blog), developing a physician compact, and promoting a common identity through consistent branding. All of those things help build a common culture, which is really what we are after.
This year, we focused on being more explicit about the things we need to do to deliver value to our various constituencies, which we defined as the patients we serve, the physicians who make up our membership, the health system of which we are a part, and the payers with whom we contract. We followed the same format as last year: a pre-meeting dinner with an outside expert to set the stage, followed by a full day of structured and professionally facilitated discussion.
I am proud to say that our outside expert was my brother, David Nash who gave us a frank picture of the current landscape of health care organization and financing. We also heard from our Health System CEO, Mike Dowling who gave us a rousing talk about where our organization is headed. The next day, we worked through defining the characteristics that were critical to our future success as a medical group.
Here is what we developed:
We also did a critical self-evaluation about where we are now and where we believe we need to be in 3 years. The “spider web” is intended to illustrate relative performance in each of these domains, with “0” being the bottom of the relative scale and 6 being “world class.” Here is where we decided we need to be in 3 years:
In other words, the group determined that we need to be really good at all of these things to succeed in delivering value to our patients, physician members, parent organization and payers. I am excited that we are defining the path from “federation” to “high performing medical group” and looking forward to the journey.
What do you think?