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Medical Staff Meeting Reflects on Impressive Year

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Mark J. Ault, MD, receives a standing ovation as he receives the inaugural Master Clinician Award.

The annual meeting of the medical staff saw an audience of more than 200 fill Harvey Morse Auditorium on Monday, Oct. 14, to reflect on achievements and challenges over the past year.

During the two-hour luncheon, presenters recapped an impressive year during which teamwork and problem solving helped to make significant progress against some of the medical center's top challenges, such as capacity and its effects on patient experience and flow.

“We have attacked this as a cultural transformation rather than just as a process improvement project," said Jeff Smith, MD, JD, MMM, chief operating officer and executive vice president of Hospital Operations. "That's involved building teams of teams by breaking down silos, holding teams accountable, empowering our frontline staff to take action and developing a network so we can react more quickly."

Smith went on to say that the use of real-time data, bed huddles, early discharges and the Departure Lounge, among other initiatives, have helped to improve both patient flow and patient satisfaction, even as capacity continues to prove challenging and Emergency Department volume increases year over year.

President and CEO Thomas M. Priselac took a step back to highlight the impacts the health system as a whole has had on the medical center. He said that the expansion of the health system has enabled the medical center to develop relationships that help to grow its programs, as well as improve its own care delivery capabilities—such as the role of new urgent care clinics in supporting the medical center's Emergency Department.

Following the reports by Priselac and Smith, Chief of Staff Clement C. Yang, MD, whose tenure concludes this year, delivered his final staff meeting report, noting that among the many efforts to make headway in affordability, two significant success stories were the launch of the Physician Best Practices Team and the sharing of procedure cost reports with surgeons and proceduralists to identify savings opportunities.

"We're having valuable conversations about why we do things differently and how we can all do things better," Yang said of the new initiatives' impacts. "We're talking to each other."

Turning his focus to burnout, Yang told the audience that physician wellness "is now stated as an organizational goal and a top priority of medical center leadership," adding that new physician events, career growth opportunities, and counseling and support services have helped to foster a culture of wellness over the last year.

"As our practice of medicine has evolved, so too must our medical staff structure," Yang said in closing, citing the introduction of two new departments—Cardiac Surgery and Cardiology, along with the Infection Prevention and Control Committee—as examples of necessary evolution within the medical staff that will help to improve quality and advance the stature of the medical center.

The event closed by honoring three award-winning physicians: Moshe Arditi, MD, received the Pioneer in Medicine Award; Mark J. Ault, MD, received the inaugural Master Clinician Award; and Shaun Miller, MD, received the Chief of Staff Award.

The chief of staff position will be filled in the new year by Marc A. Edelstein, MD, with Monique Araya, MD, serving as vice chief of staff.

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Pictured at the annual meeting of the medical staff: (from left) Chief of Staff Clement C. Yang, MD; Pioneer in Medicine Award winner Moshe Arditi, MD; Vice Chief of Staff Monique Araya, MD.