A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Lurie Children’s Clinically Integrated Network annual meeting. Brent James, MD, known internationally for his work in clinical quality improvement provided the keynote. Also, presenting were Madeline McDowell, MD and Karyl Kopaskie, PHD of Sg2 and Toya Gorley, MBA from NRC Health.

It quickly became evident that this was not just a group gathered to sit back and idly listen to the speakers. These were providers and support staff from across Chicago, who had gathered to connect, share ideas, ask questions, and collaborate as part of a larger community. They were here to tackle problems from many different viewpoints – the analyst, the practice manager, the surgeon, the researcher, the pediatrician etc. For a few hours that day, I had a window into a group that is committed to keep at this, to iterate again and again as necessary – to ultimately seek a better way for patients and providers.

As a consumer of healthcare who is at the mercy of the institutions, individuals, technology, traditions and training that collectively create our “healthcare system”, I was encouraged to see that the human side of that system is alive and well. What I saw were people who stepped away from their packed day and obligations to actively participate in improving this system.

Brent James, while briefly lamenting the fact that the Senate Judiciary committee members in 2009 had enjoyed using his message to decry all the ills of our system, was energetic about the opportunities within reach … not dependent on correcting complex laws and payer relationships but actually within reach today for providers.

There was much talk and data supporting industry trends moving from pay for service to pay for value in a provider at risk financial environment. There were discussions around reducing the massive variation in clinical practices, increasing E&M virtual visits, direct employer contracting, consumer trends in social media usage for healthcare decisions and more – so much to digest and consider.

Ultimately, my biggest takeaway was an appreciation for the role the CIN plays in bringing together the people who actually embody “the system” and in providing pathways for these individuals to lead the way in improvements that can eventually impact us all.

I am excited about the work we do with Lurie Children’s Clinically Integrated Network, and look forward to being part of the change they are creating. You can read more about that in this case study or contact us to learn more.