HM09 Keynote Speaker: Let's Work Together


Mark Chassin, MD, isn’t quite sure what he’ll say when he steps to the podium to deliver the keynote address at sold-out HM09.

“At the pace everything is changing, it’s hard to know exactly what I’ll want to talk about,” says Chassin, president of The Joint Commission.

He is certain about one thing, however: the importance of reaching out to and connecting with hospital-based physicians. “Accreditation alone is not enough,” Dr. Chassin says. “We need active engagement of the hospital medicine practitioners in all of the quality and safety initiatives The Joint Commission has set in motion.

“It’s also important," he continues, "for us to hear from physicians on the front lines ... about how our efforts are working and where we need to fill in gaps.”

Since taking over as president of The Joint Commission in January 2008, Dr. Chassin has pushed for the organization to adopt business management strategies like Six Sigma and the Toyota Production System. The goal is to work with hospitals and health systems that also use these strategies to rectify recurring safety and quality problems, such as medication reconciliation, infection control breakdown, and wrong-site/wrong-side surgery.

His ultimate goal is to make sure the commission and organizations that deliver care work together to transform healthcare into a high-reliability industry.

“The legacy of what The Joint Commission used to be sometimes gets caricatured as a bunch of silly rules and hoops people have to jump through that have nothing to do with patient care,” Dr. Chassin says. “That caricature really is a thing of the past.”

To read an in-depth interview with Dr. Chassin, see the June issue of The Hospitalist.

HM 2009 will take place May 14-17 in Chicago. For more information, visit SHM's Web site.

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