On July 13 of this year I celebrated an anniversary of sorts. Twenty five years ago that day, I started work at the Community Health Center in Nampa. It was a long time ago (as my kids will remind me). Penicillin had just gone generic.
A lot has changed.
As I look back, so much has changed in medicine over the last 25 years. No doubt, the pace of change for life in general has accelerated. Like me, maybe you also have days when you look backwards and marvel at all the life changes you have made in order to adapt and keep up. But change in the medical field seems particularly robust. I like to joke at work, “If we don’t like the job today, just show up tomorrow because it is bound to be different!”
As family doctors, I am struck by how much change we have seen and negotiated. Electronic health records and ICD-10 stand out. The changing nature of best practice is constantly updated with new knowledge and research. Primary care medicine is complex. Working within the medical industrial complex is also complex. Learning effective and efficient ways to interact with the spectrum of human behaviors our patients demonstrate is complex. And just when you think you might be starting to figure out the optimal ways to manage, the rules change! Kudos to you for keeping up!
A lot has remained the same.
Juxtaposed to the onslaught of change, I find some constants. In the absence of disease, so much of our physical health comes down to what we eat/drink (or other substances we put into our body), our activity level, and how well we sleep. So many Idahoans I work with are not doing particularly well on those issues. In many patients whom I treat for chronic disease management, the discussions come back to those core issues. Read more...
The Idaho Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP) named Dr. Richard McLandress from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho as the 2017 Idaho Family Physician of the Year at the 69th Annual Conference of the Idaho Academy of Family Physicians in McCall, Idaho. A tribute was made to Dr. McLandress for his generous contributions to his profession, to medical education and his service and dedication to his community and the state.
McLandress said “I believe that such an award really represents the many great strengths of our entire community's commitment to developing a vibrant and strong Family Medicine Residency. Kootenai Health, with the State of Idaho, the Idaho Academy of Family Physicians, the Coeur d'Alene community and the WWAMI-University of Washington School of Medicine are all together successfully enhancing health care in the entire region.” Read more about Dr. McLandress...
I want to start by thanking all the 111 practices and their teams that are part of our SHIP health care transformation efforts. Never has Idaho undertaken a project of this magnitude to help reshape and reengineer the delivery of care in our state.
Without you and your efforts, this project would not have launched nor moved forward. I know how much work and effort transformation takes as FMRI has four of our practices in the SHIP cohorts. This is not work for the faint of heart; it is the lynchpin to transforming the delivery side of healthcare to get primary care on solid ground and functioning well. Primary care is ground zero for getting these efforts headed in the right direction. If a patient has a usual source of care with someone they know and trust then that relationship has been found to improve their health, their healthcare experience, and lower cost. Our team-based model of the patient centered medical home should also help decrease provider burnout and return our collective joy in our practices. Read more...
Thank you so much to the IAFP for the opportunity to attend the AAFP National Conference as the student delegate for the Idaho Chapter. It was an amazing experience and provided many learning opportunities for me. Notably beneficial was the experience of participating in the student congress and becoming more familiar with parliamentary procedure and the process of making change through writing and debating resolutions. In fact, Justin Reed (MS3) and I had the opportunity to author a resolution, testify on its behalf to the appropriate resolution hearing committee, and watch as it was adopted. This was a great experience for us to take something we were passionate about (the impact of physician-spouse/significant other relationship strain and its influence on physician burnout) to the national level and impact change. Also very useful was the opportunity to network with many different residency programs throughout the WWAMI region and the rest of the United States. We had six Idaho students attend this year, including three second years, one third year, and one fourth year WWAMI-Idaho student and a second year Idaho student attending Western University. Four of us had the opportunity to participate in the congress which was excellent training for all of us. Thank you again for your support and helping me achieve this experience!
Left to right: Brad Lawrence, Melissa Liner, Veronica Hollingshead, Amanda Aman, Craig Steiner, Justin Reed
New Quality Payment Program Resource Center In an effort to provide the Idaho medical community with a comprehensive destination for Quality Payment Program needs, Qualis Health launched the Quality Payment Program Resource Center. This online resource center is a one-stop-shop for QPP needs and is home to many helpful tools and resources. From the MIPS calculator and an online readiness assessment tool, the resource center is a one-stop-shop for QPP needs.
A Quick Start Guide to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) CMS recently created a Quick Start Guide to help jump start the MIPS process. This easy to follow tool is a great way to begin your MIPS journey. For more information and resources....
The Idaho Health Data Exchange (IDHE) and UHIN, the state-designated health information exchange (HIE) in Utah, have connected to exchange admission, discharge and transfer (ADT) notifications for patients who live in one of the states but have a medical encounter in the other state. These initial queries from HIE to HIE are based on the patient's home zip code, and allow primary care physicians to better coordinate care no matter where the care occurs.
The IDHE-UHIN connection is the latest in a growing HIE-to-HIE hub expanding across the West. Known as the Patient Centered Data Home™ (PCDH), and spearheaded by the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC), the hub allows data to be exchanged across six western states. Through the connection with UHIN, Idahoans experiencing a medical event in Arizona, Nevada, Nebraska or western Colorado will have their data sent to their primary care physician in Idaho. Read more about the exchange of data...
In January, the ABFM introduced a new self-assessment activity called the Continuous Knowledge Self-Assessment (CKSA). This activity gives family physicians the opportunity to meet their Knowledge Self-Assessment (KSA) requirement by participating in quarterly activities consisting of 25 questions. The CKSA is currently mobile enabled and easily accessible from a tablet or mobile device which makes the activity convenient to complete anytime. Upon completion of each quarter; 2.5 points and 2.5 CME credits will be awarded. Completion of all 4 quarters is necessary in order for this activity to meet the KSA requirement. This activity can be accessed by physicians from within their Physician Portfolio on the ABFM website. Later this year the CKSA app will be made available for completion of the activity to be available on mobile devices.
The IAFP would like to invite you to Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho on January 26 – 27, 2018 for the “Excellence in Primary Care Seminar.” This two-day family friendly conference will offer 7 CME credits along with the opportunity to ski and enjoy hosted social events with your family. Registration materials and the full agenda will be available in November; watch the IAFP Web page at: http://idahofamilyphysicians.org/ for more details.
Saturday, October 28, 2017 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
University of Idaho, Boise – Idaho Water Center, Legacy Pointe, 322 E. Front Street, Boise, Idaho 83702
All workshop information, including link to register, draft schedule, topics and speaker bios can be found here:
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has created a new online tool called the Health Workforce Connector to help health care professionals, including family physicians, find jobs at more than 20,000 sites and health care facilities in the communities across the country.
Family physicians can search by job title, medical discipline, state, city, and zip code to find jobs best suited for them. In turn, Idaho and other states can fill jobs in communities that need more health care professionals.Read more...
Jeffrey A. Gold, MD, Professor of Medicine, Director of Simulation, Oregon Health and Science University
The widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) has led to a number of unintended consequences—particularly a negative effect on doctor satisfaction and practice workflow. Medical practices have tried many different solutions to help alleviate the burden, and one of the most common solutions is the adoption of medical scribes.Scribes are now the fastest growing medical field. However, in spite of this rapid growth, there is little standardization in training scribes or defining their appropriate function with the EHR. Read the entire article...
Attend both Intro to PCMH 2017 & Advanced PCMH 2017* for one low cost! Learn more....
Doctors have an average of $169,775 in student debt. Working long hours, it’s easy to ignore refinancing. That’s why the IAFP has partnered with SoFi to help our busy members save on student loans, as easily as possible.
The evaluations for the premed shadow program are rolling in and they are all very positive. The students indicate that they had a great time shadowing our amazing family doctors. "I was very inspired by how my preceptor was a complete advocate for her patients"; another student wrote; "I enjoyed seeing how the doctor interacted with the patients. He has been practicing for 40 years and still loves it and that really shows." Thank you to all of the terrific volunteers who helped fulfilled a shadow experience for an Idaho student.
As you know, medical schools now require at least 40 hours of shadowing experience prior to a student applying. The premed shadow program is an opportunity to help an Idaho student fulfill their dreams and inspire them to choose a career in medicine. The IAFP works with WWAMI to help premed students meet the medical school prerequisites through a shadowing program. We receive applications from all over Idaho and ask our members to help fulfill this qualification for students in their communities. This year, we had 29 students participate in the shadow program from communities all over Idaho; from Fruitland to Moscow to Rexburg to Sandpoint to Pocatello. I am happy to report that every student was matched with the a family doctor in their community. THANK YOU to our wonderful preceptors for helping inspire our Idaho students. Without these volunteers, our students would struggle to fulfill the 40 hour requirement to apply to medical school. If you are interested in participating next summer, please contact the IAFP at Idahoafp@aol.com for more information.