American Physician Partners Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Briningstool recently addressed APP's response to managing its Emergency Department contracts through the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Briningstool highlighted keys to success including strong leadership on the ground, innovative solutions to care, and partnering with our hospitals to safely bring patients back to the ED.
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Regardless of the specific initiatives you implement to improve your Emergency Department’s performance, there are several critical factors you must address first to set your team up for success. Those initial steps to get started are outlined below.
Achieving Excellence in the Emergency Department
- Always keep in the forefront of your mind who your customers are. Providing quality care to your patients is only the beginning. The ED medical director as well as every member of the ED team must recognize that they also serve other customers, including the nurses, medical staff and hospital administration.
- You need to secure buy-in from these customers prior to implementing any changes. Change starts from the top, and administration must be on board with the plan at the start. The ED nursing director and the ED medical director must be a cohesive unit, presenting a united front to all staff members. And the ED physicians and APCs must be committed to embracing new processes.
- The single most common mistake a new ED medical director makes when managing through change is to say something once and assume it will happen. The reality is that you must be tenacious and persistent, reinforcing the message even after things are “fixed,” as it’s human nature to default back to old processes.
- Finally, it’s necessary to change a culture that believes “it’s ok to delay.” Change will automatically be met with resistance, and it’s challenging to overcome ingrained beliefs. Again, the medical director must be tenacious and persistent in delivering the message that delays are not acceptable