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”

Time Management for Physician Leaders—Accomplish More of Your Goals

By Ted A James, MD, MHCM
January 10, 2018

“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else“
Peter F. Drucker

Physicians have a crucial role to play leading health care transformation. The problem is that there is no end to competing interests vying for our time. Most of us respond to increasing demands by putting in longer hours—which inevitably takes a toll on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Soon, all of our time becomes consumed by busywork, and we miss opportunities to realize our vision and make a lasting and meaningful impact as leaders. This ultimately leads to frustration and a lack of fulfillment. Fortunately, steps can be taken to be more effective with time: Continue reading “Time Management for Physician Leaders—Accomplish More of Your Goals”

The Science of Health Care Improvement: Overcoming Unintended Variation

By Ted James
November 29, 2018

“Uncontrolled variation is the enemy of quality.”
– Edwards Deming

Widespread variations in clinical practice that cannot be explained by differences in medical condition or patient preference are routinely observed across multiple specialties and clinical settings. The problem with unexplained variation in health care is that it negatively impacts clinical outcomes, increases the cost of care, and diminishes value for our patients. Continue reading “The Science of Health Care Improvement: Overcoming Unintended Variation”

The Future of Patient Engagement in the Digital Age

By Ted A James, MD, MHCM, FACS
October 10, 2018

We live in a digital age of information and innovation, where technological advances continue to make accessibility and independence the norm. Health care, however, has a peculiar relationship with technology. Although we have experienced life-changing advances in medical science, health care delivery systems often fail to meet today’s expectations of convenience, transparency, and choice. Most other industries are far ahead of health care when it comes to engaging with the people they serve (e.g., Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, etc.). As a result, people are less willing to accept the delays, inconvenience, and lack of control traditionally experienced in health care. We are unlikely to succeed in achieving high-value care (i.e., greater quality, lower cost) unless our health care systems can factor patient engagement into the equation. A digital health revolution is coming, and those who prepare and are ready to adapt stand to reap the benefits. Continue reading “The Future of Patient Engagement in the Digital Age”

Do You Need an MBA to Be a Physician Leader?

By Ted A James, MD, MHCM, FACS
September 6, 2018

…leadership skills, like any other type of skill, can be learned and improved…. More challenging, however, is the development of the personal attributes that are necessary for effective leadership.”

-Charanjit S. Rihal, MD
Chair, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Mayo Clinic

Physicians as Administrative Leaders

Physicians possess a deep understanding of what is required to optimize the process of caring for people, and health care systems that are serious about transformation need to harness the power, talent, and creativity of clinicians as organizational leaders. Toward this end, a growing number of physicians are moving into executive leadership, and organizations are experiencing the benefit of having these physicians in key roles, providing input into what is best for patients and the organization as a whole. Continue reading “Do You Need an MBA to Be a Physician Leader?”