Best Practices for Patient Engagement with Telehealth

Ted James, MD, MHCM
June 2, 2020

“In an age where the average consumer manages nearly all aspects of life online, it’s a no-brainer that healthcare should be just as convenient, accessible, and safe as online banking.”

— Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association

Health care organizations are actively leveraging telemedicine as a natural solution to connecting with patients while addressing new social distancing realities. Honestly, I found it difficult at first to establish an effective rapport with patients using telehealth, especially for new patient consults. Many physicians report difficulty making the transition to virtual patient encounters.

The learning curve was more than I had expected, and my first few telehealth visits seemed disengaged and sterile. Not to mention having to deal with technical problems. In response, I looked for resources about making meaningful connections with patients, despite the loss of physical presence. I also looked at how to apply the basics of patient-centered communication to this new digital platform. As it turns out, you can learn techniques to become more comfortable and improve your ‘web-side manner.’ Continue reading “Best Practices for Patient Engagement with Telehealth”

Leading Beyond the COVID-19 Health Care Crisis

By Ted A James, MD, MHCM
May 5, 2020

The disruptive nature of the global pandemic has created a rapidly changing environment with long-lasting implications for health care far beyond the immediate crisis.

It is unlikely that we will simply revert back to normal; new ways of thinking will be required and the ability to adapt to new realities and prepare for an unknown future will mean the difference between success and failure. The challenge calls leaders to navigate uncertainty while restructuring care in an abruptly transformed health system.  Continue reading “Leading Beyond the COVID-19 Health Care Crisis”

Gaining Leadership Buy-in for Organizational Change in Health Care

By Ted A James, MD, MHCM
March 12, 2020

Do any of these situations sound familiar?

  • You desperately need additional personnel for your clinic but hear that there is a hiring freeze, as funds are not currently available in the budget for recruitment.
  • Your request for a medical device that is necessary for a new procedure is placed behind several others in the queue for planned capital equipment purchasing. After asking for updates, it appears that the wait will be indefinite.
  • You have an excellent idea for a quality improvement initiative that will improve clinical outcomes, patient experience, and clinician satisfaction. However, you cannot seem to obtain the necessary organizational resources to support your proposal.

Physicians involved in day-to-day patient care often come across opportunities to improve the health delivery system. However, funds may not be available to support their ideas. This situation can lead to frustration and discouragement. Worse still, we lose out on the advantages that these innovations would bring to our patients. Continue reading “Gaining Leadership Buy-in for Organizational Change in Health Care”

Engaging Physicians to Lead Change in Health Care

By Ted A James, MD, MHCM, FACS
January 9, 2020

Doctors must be central players in the sweeping changes transforming health care. Indeed, any change strategy they do not embrace is doomed.” Thomas Lee, MD

THE IMPORTANCE OF PHYSICIAN ENGAGEMENT

I was recently invited to participate in the National Academy of Medicine Emerging Leaders Forum, where the group explored the most pressing challenges in health care and sought to develop new ways of thinking that could lead to change. One takeaway from the meeting was that today’s ever-shifting landscape of patient needs, regulatory environment, and downward cost pressures requires physician leadership to meet the changing demands of health care. Continue reading “Engaging Physicians to Lead Change in Health Care”

Emotional Intelligence for Physician Leaders

By Ted A James, MD, MHCM
June 13, 2019

“By teaching people to tune into their emotions with intelligence and expand their circles of caring, we can transform organizations from the inside out and make a positive difference in our world.”   –Daniel Goleman

The Hard Impact of Soft Skills

Have you ever regretted saying the wrong thing in the heat of the moment, or wished that you could quickly diffuse a tense situation, or could get a better sense of how others viewed you? Many of the challenges of health care stem from working in a highly complex, emotionally demanding environment. The ability to manage yourself and your relationships with others is an invaluable skill that physicians and other health care leaders must possess in order to be successful. Continue reading “Emotional Intelligence for Physician Leaders”

Best Practices for Engaging Physicians in Health Technology

By Ted James, MD, MHCM
March 28, 2019

Advances in health technology allow health care professionals and organizations to meet ever-increasing demands for performance improvement—or at least that should be the case. The problem is that the adoption of technology in health care is a slow process with many hurdles. Wearables, predictive analytics, remote medicine, EHRs, digital health, AI, diagnostic algorithms, self-care apps, and next-generation clinical decision-support all have the potential to improve patient care; however, fundamental issues with usability and implementation need to be addressed for physicians to engage with these health innovations. Continue reading “Best Practices for Engaging Physicians in Health Technology”