I recently had the opportunity to present my vision for the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care at the Dell Medical School, and it was exciting to share my ideas and goals with physicians, hospital administrators, academic colleagues and other leaders from the Austin community.
I was drawn to this role largely because of the opportunity to be part of a team that is rethinking health care — and specifically surgery’s role in care – from the ground up. But what ultimately got me here was the right mix of community support, vision, partnership, and energy to really impact the way people get, and stay, healthy.
I believe that our best opportunity to support positive change and deliver the greatest benefit to the community is by actively shifting away from a volume-based incentive system and toward one that truly rewards and focuses on value. That means continuously measuring, iterating, and improving care delivery systems and outcomes; teaching health system improvement and engaging learners in meaningful improvement work; and investing in translational and implementation research to support health system improvement.
To achieve these lofty goals will take a tremendous amount of collaboration and a system-wide willingness to rethink how we function as a health ecosystem. If we are able to be successful and truly live up to the commitment to improve value, physicians must unite and take a leading role in:
- aligning incentives between physicians, hospitals, health plans and patients;
- focusing on data-driven decision making;
- maintaining transparency and accountability across all health care stakeholders; and
- engaging with patients and the broader community to share costs, benefits and decision making.
I invite the entire Austin health care community – from surgeons to primary care physicians, patients to insurers, business leaders and entrepreneurs – to come together to help us shift the health care system from volume to value.
There are big challenges, but even bigger opportunities that lie ahead. And together, Austin and its health care community can become an example for the rest of the nation.
Learn more about the Dell Medical School, and view the video outlining my vision: