The members of the C-Suite recommended medical staff members who were leaders of the medical staff (either official or unofficial) and were considered early adopters or change agents. I selected the first six from that list and then we asked the six newly appointed members to provide six names of physicians whom they would like to see join them on the Council and who met the criteria for selection. Through that process, we created the Council of 12 and it has been very successful. Over the last two years, we have used them primarily as a sounding board on initiatives such as improving communications, getting a better handle on our high utilizers, improving physician documentation, reducing our preventable conditions, eliminating denials, reducing readmissions and, of late, developing a pay for performance (P4P) initiative.
As we enter our third year, in addition to focusing on P4P, we will be asking this group to work with us on clinical integration within WMHS as well as with the proposed alliance between WMHS, Frederick Health System and Meritus Health in Hagerstown. Should the boards of the three health systems decide that this alliance is in the best interest of their respective communities, clinical integration will be a critical component of the alliance going forward. The expertise and input from the Council will be essential.