Review Article| Volume 25, P127-142, 2007

Challenges in Practice Management

      A new era is beginning that will test the skill and expertise of anesthesia leadership in practice management. All components of the not-for-profit health care systems are experiencing workforce shortages, decreasing operating margins, and greater degrees of governmental regulation. Survival requires adept financial leadership and the ability to partner. Porter and Teisberg [
      • Porter M.
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      Redefining health care: creating value-based competition on results.
      ] emphasize in their book Redefining Health Care, that “the US health care system is on a dangerous path with a toxic combination of high costs, uneven quality, frequent errors, and limited access to care.” The magnitude of the problem seems overwhelming without a quick fix using traditional solutions of consolidation and cost shifting. Anesthesia practices fortunately are well positioned to address these challenges proactively. Challenges fall into four broad categories: (1) understanding and delivering value, (2) mastering throughput and customer service, (3) competing on quality, and (4) partnering. Attention to basic business principles in each of these categories by anesthesia leadership will allow anesthesiologists to maximize success in the market place.
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