Managing Rapid Changes in Healthcare, with Healthcare Speaker Dr. Kent Bottles


Exclusive Interview with: Dr. Kent Bottles

Drawing from a wide range of leadership experience in biotechnology, academia, and community health systems, healthcare keynote speaker Dr. Bottles helps providers and healthcare leaders prepare for the rapid changes occurring in their industry. As an academic, Dr. Bottles has served at, amongst others, the University of California, the University of Iowa and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. He has been a tenured professor, a medical director, a corporate operations officer, residency director and held several other posts. In community-based medicine, Dr. Bottles has been president of the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement and chief medical officer for the Iowa Health System, a $2 billion integrated community health system.

Because of the changes taking place in the American health care delivery system, it’s becoming much more of a team effort. In the old “fee for service” payment system healthcare economy, teamwork was not nearly as important as it will be as we transition to value-based payment models.

SPEAKING.COM: What are some important future trends for American health care programs?

BOTTLES: The biggest challenge for everyone in health care is to come up with new and innovative ways to support what’s called the “Triple Aim” of improving the patient’s experience. This includes: decreasing the per capita cost of healthcare and supporting improved quality and population health metrics. Another important trend is the increased use of digital technology to support both patients and providers and the increased desire of many patients to take control of their own health care.

All of these trends will change the role of the hospital, which for years has been the center of American health care. In the future, care will be transferred away from the hospital to wherever the patient is located, so the hospital will become less and less a central site of care.

This has major ramifications for both providers and communities where patients live. The health of a community’s population will provide clues as to why some locations support health and wellness, and others do not. Health and wellness will be impacted by many players such as emergency responders, urban planners, business owners, schools, mall owners, restaurant owners and others who have rarely collaborated in the past. Such partnerships will lend themselves to unique collaborations such as Kaiser Hospitals, for example, hosting farmer’s markets in their lobbies to support healthy eating.

SPEAKING.COM: Could you describe some of the ideal traits of a health care provider in the 21st Century?

BOTTLES: Because of the changes taking place in the American health care delivery system, it’s becoming much more of a team effort. In the old “fee for service” payment system healthcare economy, teamwork was not nearly as important as it will be when we transition to value-based payment models. Physicians and other providers will need to learn how to function in teams that support empowered patients who are increasingly utilizing digital technology to support their health and wellness goals.

The inevitable transparency that comes with patients having cell phones to tweet, text and talk to each other changes the patient/doctor relationship in so many ways. The old “do what I tell you to do” approach of some doctors just does not fly in the current environment where patients are looking to “patients like me” to help them cope with chronic diseases. These patients are learning from each other on Facebook, Twitter, and patient-led sites where people swap tips on how to cope with diseases like diabetes, hypertension, or multiple sclerosis.

Interestingly, these developments are not limited to health care. Retired U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal describes comparable changes in military leadership brought on by foot soldiers who because of technology, have real-time access to information about the battle that the central headquarters lacks.

SPEAKING.COM: Can you give us a few tips about how not to get fired from a physician or nurse executive position?

BOTTLES: No. I think getting fired from a nurse or physician executive position is sometimes the price you pay for trying to make credible and important changes to improve patient care. The trick is to be continually improving as a leader so that if you do get fired, it’s relatively easy for you to find a more compatible organization in which to continue to grow and affect change.

In health care we have not been bold enough in trying innovation, and we have not been quick enough to abandon tactics that fail.

SPEAKING.COM: What do you mean when you say, “Fail often and cheaply in order to succeed?”

BOTTLES: In the current chaotic healthcare environment with so many changing variables, no one can truly predict the future. The most successful individuals and organizations are those that try many different approaches and quickly make mid-course corrections based on real-time intelligence. Failure is a much better teacher than success. In healthcare, we have not been bold enough in trying innovation, and we have not been quick enough to abandon tactics that fail.

SPEAKING.COM: What are some survival tactics for hospitals, doctors and nurses in a post-health care reform world?

BOTTLES:If you can provide patient-centered care at a reasonable cost and if you have good results on easily measured outcomes metrics, you will thrive in the new world.

The bonuses and penalties associated with CMS value-based payment models are starting to work. You can motivate both providers and administrators by pointing out how these new technologies can impact bonuses and avoid financial penalties.

SPEAKING.COM: What are some ways to engage physicians in adopting and using new health care information technology?

BOTTLES: I spend much of my professional consulting work trying to encourage physicians to embrace new healthcare information technology. It is certainly challenging work at times.

One problem I see is that experts have told physicians that “the sky is falling” many times before yet not much has changed from the point of view of the physician. With the Affordable Care Act and the Federal Budget deficit, I believe this time it is different, but physicians in many parts of the country are not sold on the changes.

Another problem is that Information Technology vendors over-promise and under-deliver in order to sell their products. There is a steep learning curve and physicians must change their workflow to learn new technologies and experience the advantages of them.

The bonuses and penalties associated with CMS value-based payment models are starting to work. You can motivate both providers and administrators by pointing out how these new technologies can impact bonuses and avoid financial penalties. Many of my current keynotes focus on how primary care physicians can successfully create new revenue streams if they understand the new rules for chronic care disease management fees and the changes in how physicians will get paid under the recent Sustainable Growth Rate for Medicare.

SPEAKING.COM: How can healthcare providers help promote better patient safety?

BOTTLES: Participate in quality programs at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement or the Armstrong Institute at Johns Hopkins.

To bring healthcare keynote speaker Dr. Kent Bottles to your organization, please contact Michael Frick at: Mike@Speaking.com

© SPEAKING.com, published on June 17, 2018

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