It has now been two and one-half years since I joined MCIC. I am glad to say that it has been an extraordinarily rewarding experience. In addition to being gratifying it has also been challenging to align MCIC’s efforts to reduce patient care adverse events, and their resultant medical malpractice costs, with the very diverse and very intensive programs and resources of MCIC’s subscribers (formerly called shareholders). Part of this goal of alignment is accomplished by having established at each of our institutions our quarterly Senior Leader Meetings between MCIC, especially LPPS , leadership and institutional leadership. This has given us enormous insight into the strategies and plans of the academic medical centers and we hope that the reverse has also been true. We also believe that the support of MCIC’s executive and Board (Subscriber Advisory Committee) leaders in expanding our institution-assigned Director staff as well as our clinical analytics staff has given us the depth to work with our centers in a more coordinated and effective fashion.
Evident early on was that all of us naturally align with the goal of protecting the patient from harm. Whether you are the Board of MCIC, the senior leadership of our medical centers or the individual caregiver there is no arguing with the worthiness of efforts to eliminate preventable harm. Fundamentally, this is the most satisfying, and likely the most effective, means by which to decrease malpractice allegations and costs.
One challenge has been to judge how effective our efforts are. Important metrics have always been claims numbers and claims costs and, of course, resultant premium costs. From efforts that largely antedated me and despite a growth of 20-25% in the numbers of patients treated, mostly from increases in the number of MCIC-insured institutions and their growth in their clinical services, the number of claims filed in the most recent 5-year period (2009-2013) has actually fallen while the associated dollars have remained stable. How much is due to subscriber efforts versus MCIC efforts is uncertain but, whatever the MCIC contribution, it is clear that it is the patient who benefits most regardless of attribution.
To continue and accelerate this trend we have undertaken a variety of efforts based on three major strategies. In this installment of my newsletter we will focus on the first of these.
In a future installment my staff and I will focus on our second major strategy which is based on gaining a better understanding of the risk characteristics of the care rendered to and of the patients who experience adverse events that result in claims and suits. We hope to better define such characteristics by making comparisons to the much larger populations of the non-injured or the injured, non-claiming patients. This pursuit we have designated as Clinical and Predictive Analytics.
In a subsequent installment my staff and I will elaborate on our third strategy of Shared Learning, a highlight of which will be our Second Patient Safety Symposium to be held in Washington, D.C. in June of this year (2015). But this strategy has many other components that take advantage of the consortium nature of MCIC. This consortium of some of the best academic and clinical centers in the country, if not the world, offers tremendous opportunities for accelerating the discovery, adoption and implementation of effective patient safety practices. Notable among these is the Risk Reduction Awards Program (RRAP), an effort to support monetarily the development and application of risk reduction/patient safety efforts at each of our centers that, when successful, can be disseminated across MCIC.
We also plan on having additional updates on a regular basis, as warranted, to try and keep you informed of our efforts and to seek your input and impressions. If you would like to get in touch with me feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.