Developing a High Performance Medical Group

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Robert Matthews
Executive Director
PriMed Physicians & Health First Physicians

Quality theory and practice are less often used in healthcare, particularly medical groups, than other economic sectors. This presentation describes the transformation of real world, community based medical groups that lead the nation in financial, operations, medical quality and other measures. Cases using Six Sigma, Lean and organizational development will be described.

Primary care based medical groups are responsible for providing acute care, chronic disease management and wellness/preventive care. The national statistics for meeting the evidence based standards in chronic disease management and wellness/prevention are staggeringly low. Primary care based groups are also increasingly suffering erosions in their financial performance.

This presentation will describe the evolution of two, community based, physician owned medical groups - Health First Physicians in Cincinnati and PriMed Physicians in Dayton, Ohio - as they successfully developed and deployed efforts to lead the nation in chronic disease management, wellness/prevention, operations and financial performance.

The presentation will include descriptions of processes for goal setting, strategy development, tactical planning and plan execution. It will also include descriptions of the needs for leadership development and organizational development.

The challenges of introducing quality disciplines and a quality culture to physicians will be addressed with examples of successful and unsuccessful communication strategies.

Descriptions of several Six Sigma and Lean projects that were part of the overall deployment will be included. These projects include operations improvements, disease management projects (that have produced the best outcomes in the US for hypertension and nation leading outcomes for diabetes, pediatric asthma and osteoporosis) and financial improvement projects.