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Healthcare Management Educational Series Gets Underway

Alerus | NOV 20, 2015

Medical Industry Professional Gather for an Afternoon of Learning

The 2015 Healthcare Management Educational Series kicked off Thursday, November 19th, in Minneapolis with a spirited keynote address from industry expert Frank Cohen. Long considered one of the top speakers and trainers in the healthcare industry, Mr. Cohen’s presentation challenged the audience of medical professionals to think about better ways to manage their practices.

A Modern Management Message

Making the case that crucial practice management decisions are too often reliant on tradition, emotion, and internal politics, Mr. Cohen championed instead the concept of evidenced-based management, or EBM. Implemented properly, he explained, EBM helps medical practitioners make business choices using tools like process mapping, cause and effect analyses, critical thinking, and decision theory. Through these means, EBM helps push emotions and politics to the background in favor of objective, data-driven decisions.

Delving Into Decision-Making

Mr. Cohen’s central theme was decision-making and the crucial role of data in the decision-making process. We are not, he said, natural decision-makers, which is why we so often rely on anecdotes and intuition when making choices – those things are easier to access than data.

He urged the audience to be self-aware and cognizant of decision biases. The sunk cost bias, for example, leads managers to cling to old systems that could be costing the company money because it would be hard to change and easier to leave in place. There is also overconfidence bias, where individuals who lack skills in a given area still believe themselves superior in that area, rendering them incapable of recognizing their own shortcomings.

Rather than make choices on such weak ground, Mr. Cohen explained that measurement is key in EBM, and that comfortability with uncertainty is necessary. The best data available is likely to be wrong, but it will give you the ability to reduce uncertainty, which gives you the confidence of knowing that your decisions are being made based on educated, informed predictions.

Nurturing Ideas

One important subtext running through the entire presentation was the need for medical practice leaders to create positive environments where trust abounds and ideas are embraced. Evolving demands across the medical industry require leaders to maintain open minds and to empower their people to do what they do best. 

HMES Session Two Upcoming

HMES continues with the second of four events Thursday, December 10, with featured speaker Elizabeth Woodcock, an expert and consultant in medical operations and revenue cycle management.

The Healthcare Management Educational Series is sponsored by DS+B and Alerus. For more information or to register for upcoming events, visit the DS+B website.

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