Blog | Thursday, February 15, 2018

Strategic priorities

For each of the last several years, we have held a retreat for the leadership of our medical group. In the early years, we used the meeting to address basic questions about who we were and what we were trying to accomplish. In 2014 we established a series of priorities for our group, which we summarized in what we affectionately called “the flower”:

This road map served us well in the years since, but we decided it was time for a refresh, so at our most recent retreat we revisited our priorities, and came up with this:

We retained three of the prior six priorities: providing the highest quality care, delivering on a great patient experience, and advancing our role as a physician organization fully integrated into Northwell Health. We also adopted three new priorities: improving the ease of connecting patients to our providers, promoting the coordination of care by preferentially referring our patients to each other instead of to outside providers, and making sure that we take care of our physicians as well as our patients.

We also worked through the broad outline of actions we need to take to make significant progress in each of these areas, and it struck me how closely they are all interrelated:
• Delivering high quality care requires integration of all of our sites of care, and sharing of information among patients and providers;
• Facilitating internal referrals depends on easy access to care;
• Patients will have a positive experience only if we deliver high quality care in a timely, integrated, coordinated fashion; and
• Physicians want and need a well-functioning work environment in order to feel better about the work they do and the care they deliver – the same things that will benefit patients.

Tying it all together, we need to make real improvements in how we organize and deliver care, in order to make it better for our patients and physicians. That is pretty easy to articulate, but hard to deliver, and is the work ahead.

Ira S. Nash, MD, FACP, is the senior vice president and executive director of Northwell Health Physician Partners, and a professor of cardiology and professor of occupational medicine, epidemiology, and prevention at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He is board certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases and was in the private practice of cardiology before joining the full-time faculty of Massachusetts General Hospital. He then held a number of senior positions at Mount Sinai Medical Center prior to joining Northwell Health. He is married with two daughters and enjoys cars, reading biographies, and histories, and following his favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees, when not practicing medicine. This post originally appeared at his blog, Ausculation.