Happy New Year

I have never been a big fan of New Years Eve celebrations. Somehow the transition from December 31st of one year to January 1st of another always struck me as a poor justification for a party, and I had a hard time understanding the hoopla. As I have gotten older, however, I have come to appreciate the value of New Years as a pivot point – a chance to look back and assess the year coming to a close, and to look ahead to the one about to start. For the last couple of years I have cataloged the accomplishments of our medical group over the year ending and set out goals for the one starting, some of which I want to share.

A couple of accomplishments stand out as important markers of our continued evolution into an integrated, multi-specialty, physician-led organization. One was very “public” and easy to see and understand, and the other was internal and somewhat arcane but no less significant.

The public one was the publication of our physicians’ patient satisfaction data on our website. While the groundwork for this had been in the works as far back as the beginning of 2014, we “went live” with the program in August of 2015. Taking this step sent a powerful message that our medical group was committed to transparency of performance data and accountable for the experience of patients and their families. I believe it was also an important cultural milestone, demonstrating to our non-physician colleagues in the organization that we could – and did – take responsibility for our practice. The secondary benefits were also huge. We got lots of positive press, and our physician web-profiles now have a much higher visibility on search engines, edging out commercial rating sites such as Yelp and Healthgrades.

Another, less trumpeted accomplishment was the adoption of a common methodology for reporting how our physicians split their time among the professional pursuits of clinical practice, administration, research and teaching. May not sound like much, but doing so is the basis for assessments of clinical productivity (with obvious implications for compensation) and for the calculation of the organizational investment in research and teaching. Here again, the physician leaders came to consensus and imposed a standard on ourselves, underscoring our organizational maturation.

Looking ahead, the big news is, of course, our new identity. As we flip the page (or swipe the screen!) of the calendar from December to January, we will go from the North Shore – LIJ Medical Group to Northwell Health Physician Partners, and will adopt the logo below:

NWHPhysicianPartnersLogoPNGI am really excited about this because the new name is really about a new promise: we, as a maturing integrated physician-led group practice are committed to partnering with each other for the benefit of our patients; we are committed to partnering with our patients to advance their health and well-being; and we are committed to partnering with the rest of Northwell Health to deliver on the promise of innovative, coordinated, high-quality care.

I am really looking forward to 2016!

How about you?

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