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40th CHEF Annual Meeting – Worth the Trip

Submitted by?Mario Pistilli, CRA, MBA, CNMT,?Presence?Saint Joseph Medical Center

The Chicago Health Executive Forum annual meeting held Feb 18 at the Hyatt Regency. This was my first annual meeting as a member of CHEF and it was absolutely worth the trip. If you can only make limited events during the year, then this should be one you should definitely pencil in your calendar for next year. It was an exciting and extremely educational evening.

I started with the new member reception before joining the group in the main reception area. The new member reception had about 40 people filtering in and out. It was a very relaxed atmosphere and all the new members were eager to meet new people. One of the most valuable aspects for me of CHEF is the wide range of industries represented. In one room we had IT professionals, architects, contractors, marketing, public relations, and healthcare management just to name a few. This to me is one of the beauties of CHEF over other professional societies in that you get a much more well-rounded mix of attendees. I am sure we all can agree that every aspect of healthcare is dependent on each other. In speaking to other new members this was mentioned by multiple people as one of the most valuable aspects of CHEF. Another aspect of CHEF which was popular with new members were the learning opportunities at each event. Tim Frey, Claro group, commented that ?I always learn something new and it is nice to see and experience new places?.

We were introduced to the evening?s events by Diane Weber from the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development of the American Hospital Association. Diane explained the function of the organization was to study emerging trendsCHEF AM 1 in healthcare and their application. The Healthcare Leadership Award was presented to Dr. Anthony J. Tedeschi, MD the CEO of Weiss Memorial Hospital. Dr. Tedeschi was honored for his long and distinguished career in not only the practice of medicine, but the teaching of others. Dr. Tedeschi shared with us three things that has led to his success. The first key is to emphasize family. No matter how busy or stressed your life may become you must take care to value your family. Secondly is the value of mentors. Dr. Tedeschi emphasized the importance of finding and fostering relationships with good mentors. The last and perhaps most important element of his success was ?clarity of vision?. Dr. Tedeschi reminded us of the importance of establishing your vision aligned with your moral compass.

The next speaker was 2015 president, Rick Buchler, relating the story of how he got his start in healthcare and his pursuit of the fellow status. Rick emphasized that his attainment of fellow status provided him three things: diversity in perspective, professional respect, and dedication to healthcare. He emphasized that the journey to fellow status is very enriching and rewarding. Rick closed by saying, ?all the time you spend you will get more out then you put in.? Georgia Casciato then reminded us that CHEF has a rich 40 year history and was begun by healthcare management graduates seeking a forum for collaboration, learning, and personal development. Georgia reminded us that ?CHEF is as vital today as at its inception?. Her message was that it is up to all of us current CHEF members to keep the organization as vibrant as our founders did.

CHEF AM 3The main speaker for the evening was Dr. Mark Graber, a national leader in the field of patient safety. Dr. Graber spoke about the work he is doing in leading the organization he founded, The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine. The society is pioneering the efforts to reduce diagnostic error in medicine through a collaboration of physicians, nurses, patients, safety experts, educators, researchers, HCO leaders, insurers, payers, and regulators. This society is the only safety organization devoted to impacting diagnostic error. Through the efforts of the society, The Institute of Medicine produced a report on the issue of diagnostic error last September. The IOM report concluded that ?getting the right diagnosis is a key aspect of health care: it provides an explanation of a patient?s health problem and informs subsequent health care decisions?. The report also stated, ?diagnostic errors persist through all settings of care and harm an unacceptable number of patients?. Dr. Graber stated that if ?you don?t get the diagnosis right then everything after that is just a waste?. The IOM defined diagnostic error as the failure to ?establish an accurate and timely explanation of the patient?s health problem or to communicate that explanation to the patient. Dr. Graber shares some shocking statistics which revealed that almost 50% of the 168 physicians surveyed did not have records of patient?s test results. In another study, 81% of physicians reported that they had experienced significant delays in test result reporting. The research shows that 1 in 10 diagnoses are wrong which results in 40,000-80,000 deaths and this is the most common cause for a malpractice claim. These numbers make diagnostic error one of the top ten causes of death in America. Dr. Graber shared the sobering data that 1 in 20 patients will experience a diagnostic error every year. In summary, diagnostic errors are common and cause enormous harm. To address this problem the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine has recently formed the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis with many subspecialty medical societies to collaborate on ways to translate the IOM report into action. Dr. Graber?s talk was very eye opening to the audience as evidenced by the panel discussion following. The panel was comprised of Dr. Graber, Dr. Jay Bhatt, Chief Health Officer of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, and Dr. Ronald Wyatt, the Medical Director for Healthcare Improvement at the Joint Commission. The panel was moderated by Merrill Goozner, from Modern Healthcare. Dr. Wyatt discussed the huge impact that the culture of underreporting plays in contributing to diagnostic error. Dr. Wyatt reinforced that we need to promote a culture of safety reporting even if it conflicts with the interests of personal physicians. The panel discussed the need to have measurement tools in place to begin to address this issue and the importance of all of us in healthcare to take this seriously. I expect that there will be much work and more focus on the topic of diagnostic error in the future.CHEF AM 2

In conclusion, the 40th annual meeting reinforced to me that CHEF is indeed carrying out its mission of collaboration, learning, and personal development. I have found everyone at CHEF from the board members to the new members to be welcoming and inviting. I would encourage anyone that is in CHEF to get involved as much as you can. The only thing you need is a willingness to help and you will be welcomed and quickly make many new friends. It may take some time investment, some travel, and stepping out of your comfort zone, but as the 40th annual meeting showed it will be something valuable and rewarding. I hope to see some of you there next year.

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