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Doctor-Patient Relationship Will Change as Physician Training Focuses on Quality and Resource Management.

Business Editors & Health/Medical Writers

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 25, 2002

Embargoed Until 10 a.m. ET, Sept. 27, 2002

Conference Hosted by Tufts Health Care Institute and Partnerships

for Quality Education Draws Medical Educators from Across the U.S.

Growing demand for high quality and cost-effective health care is changing the way doctors are trained and will transform the traditional one-on-one doctor-patient relationship to a more collaborative approach to care management.

While no one can predict what the U.S. health care system will look like five or 10 years from now, physicians will need new skills in order to deliver patient-centered, safe, and effective care, according to Robert S. Galvin, MD, director of global health care for General Electric, and Thomas H. Lee, MD, SM, chief medical officer for Partners Community HealthCare Inc.

In the future, physicians will complement and, in some instances, substitute traditional one-on-one patient visits with new approaches, including relying more on non-physician clinicians, email, interactive Web pages, and drop-in group medical appointments.

The two made their remarks at the annual conference on best practices for clinician training, sponsored by Tufts Health Care Institute (THCI) and Partnerships for Quality Education (PQE), which has attracted medical and nursing educators and health care leaders from around the United States.

"Clinicians now being trained not only will have to excel at diagnosis and treatment of individual patients, but they also will have to be proficient at population management, organizational effectiveness, and operational efficiency," said Galvin. "New tools are emerging to measure and report the performance of physicians and practices, so they are held accountable for achieving the desired outcomes in clinical care and service to patients."

Galvin noted that the cost of health care insurance premiums is expected to increase at four times the rate of general inflation this year, which will cause employers to shift a greater share of the health care cost burden to employees. This, he said, ultimately will lead to greater efficiency and higher quality as health care consumers demand the best value for their money.

Lee said newly trained doctors and nurses will have to acquire a range of skills related to practicing within systems of care, monitoring and improving quality, and determining the best treatment option. These competencies are now recommended or required by organizations including the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Board of Medical Specialties, and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties.

"Quality care increasingly depends on physicians functioning effectively within a complex health care delivery system to improve health outcomes, enhance patient safety, and manage costs," Lee said.

The conference, entitled "Are You Ready? Practical Approaches for Achieving Required Competencies in Systems-Based Practice and Practice-Based Learning and Improvement," which runs through Sept. 28, is sponsored by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and by unrestricted educational grants from Schering-Plough, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca.

About Partnerships for Quality Education

Partnerships for Quality Education ( is a national initiative of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Founded in 1996, it has supported over 100 primary care residency and nurse practitioner programs in developing new models for education in managing care. PQE programs include: the Partnerships Program; the Collaborative Interprofessional Team Education (CITE) initiative; Take Care to Learn: Teaching Clinical Care Management; and Achieving Competence Today (ACT), a new program focused on developing innovative curricula in systems-based care and practice improvement.

About Tufts Health Care Institute

Established in 1995, THCI (, a not-for-profit, educational organization, is a leading independent source of educational and training programs on systems-based practice and care management for the health professions. THCI provides practical teaching materials -- including online learning and assessment tools, and curriculum guides -- and regularly hosts faculty development conferences, summits, and workshops to support the training of clinicians to better meet the goals of professional groups, such as the ACGME, in a timely, cost-effective manner.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 25, 2002
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