Studies show that even though women represent 49 percent of all patients with cardiovascular disease, they only made up 41 percent of clinical trials from 2016 to 2019. While this number has improved over the past few years, physician advocacy is needed more than ever to help make up for the underrepresentation in women’s health.
I’ve found that, as a researcher, volunteer, and physician leader, the clinical voice is far stronger when physicians band together. My partnership with Privia Women’s Health enabled me to lead the Privia Women’s Health Collaborative, a diverse group of colleagues who are passionate about putting women’s health at the forefront.
Like any great organization, there are some key building blocks needed to help create a productive space.
Quality of Patient Care
Women’s health physicians join collaboratives with the common goal of improving and advancing patient care. Making this the focus of all collaborative meetings serves two purposes:
- That shared passion becomes the foundation on which members build relationships; and
- Examining quality metrics enables providers to identify areas of opportunity, celebrate successes, and implement new ideas.
Above all, collaboratives put physicians who probably wouldn’t normally work together in the same room, allowing for the exchange of new ideas, treatment options, and more.
Consistency & Structure
Collaboratives are valuable resources that help bridge the gap between clinical and healthcare industry expertise. Meeting regularly with agendas, speakers, and notes is essential to establishing relationships and promoting engagement. A defined structure with mutually agreed-upon goals and objectives helps drive the conversation into action.
Promoting Value-Based Care
Physician collaboration will be essential as the healthcare industry transitions to value-based care. As part of a high-performance accountable care organization (ACO), we take the time to analyze financial strategies, explore new service lines, and examine case studies to help practices enhance or maintain their performance in risk-based programs.
Measuring the Impact of Collaboration
Many physicians opt for employment over private practice because they believe it offers greater financial security with less risk.
It’s one thing to build a collaborative but another to measure its efficacy. At Privia Women’s Health, we measure our ability to promote physician leadership, advocacy, and governance in several key areas:
- Soliciting feedback regularly to gauge member satisfaction, interest, and participation. We use surveys to help ensure our providers feel represented.
- Regularly assessing the use and effectiveness of new technology solutions.
- Measuring agreed-upon goals and objectives for progress, effectiveness, and physician engagement.
- Ensuring the collaborative is growing with the members or organization. Our Women’s Health Clinical IT Advisory Council (WHCITAC) focuses on women’s health-specific technology and processes that help improve workflows for the entire organization. As our group expands in scope, so do we.
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Lastly, one of the most important aspects of physician collaboration is how all of the conversations and plans translate into solutions for the future of women’s health. Having Privia Women’s Health made it easy since they implement provider feedback and input into their procedures, policies, and technology. With the support of healthcare industry experts within our organization, we’re making an impact in four key areas:
Women’s Mental Health
While there has been an increased focus on women’s mental health, especially postpartum, there are still simply not enough accessible resources to assist the more than one in five women who are living with a mental health condition. This is a critical opportunity where physicians’ clinical expertise can help implement accessible, strategic solutions.
Through our collaborative, we’ve brought new technology and services to help expand and expedite gynecological care, including pelvic floor and incontinence therapy, in-office hysteroscopy, menopausal therapies, and the recent addition of the Dorsata abnormal uterine bleeding tab to track and address potential life-threatening situations.
As part of Privia Women’s Health, we benefit from a shared electronic health record (EHR) that enables communication and allows integration with innovative women’s health solutions. For example, we implemented Dorsata into our EHR, which helps us streamline our workflows by entering our notes and information into ACOG templates.
In cases of high-risk pregnancy, accessible patient education can mean the difference between a routine check-up and an emergency department visit. We worked closely with Privia Women’s Health on a Babyscripts integration. In addition to powerful remote patient monitoring capabilities, Babyscripts’s myJourney app comes preloaded with educational content tailored to the soon-to-be mother’s risk level, language preference, and gestational stage.
Aside from planning for the future, Privia Women’s Health connects a national provider network to protect physician autonomy. Our physician-led group helps us implement the best solutions in patient care while also fortifying the future of private practices against economic volatility.
Even the most overwhelming changes in healthcare can be easier with the right partner, so you can spend more time doing what you love most.