Bryan Weiss, MBA, likes to say he’s “passionate” about HM. The twist? He isn’t even a practicing physician. Nevertheless, he’s been involved in medicine for 25 years, having worked with hospitals, health plans, and multispecialty groups before joining IPC: The Hospitalist Company in 2003. During his first few years working in the field, he realized the specialty had a bright future.
“I enjoy working with the hospitalists and assisting them to become the cornerstone of the hospitals they work in,” says Weiss, managing director of the consulting services practice at Irving, Texas-based MedSynergies. “Creating the open communications among the hospital administration, emergency room, nursing, case management, consultants, and PCPs—as well as moving the specialty forward with actionable, balanced scorecards—is the most satisfying component.”
Weiss previously was president of the hospitalist division at Hospital Physician Partners of Hollywood, Fla., and COO of inpatient services at Dallas-based EmCare. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University and earned his master’s degree from California Lutheran University.
He is one of nine new Team Hospitalist members, The Hospitalist’s volunteer group of editorial advisors. He sees challenges ahead for hospitalists, administrators, and the health-care system, but he also has faith the specialty will be up to the task.
“I think the incredibly rapid growth of the specialty is huge,” he says. “The acceptance of the specialty has gone from needing to explain what a hospitalist is to insurance companies and hospitals and other physicians to [knowing] the value of a hospitalist program and how disadvantaged a hospital is without a program.”
Question: As a nonphysician, explain your role in the health-care system and HM.
Answer: I want to make sure the hospitalist team truly operates as a team and not a bunch of physicians who happen to work in the same hospital. The bottom line is it is about the patient experience and how hospitalists will be pivotal as health care moves to more risk-based and population health.
Q: What is your biggest professional challenge?
A: Ensuring the alignment of the goals of the hospital and the hospitalists are translated to measurable outcomes is probably the biggest challenge in the current state of health care.
Q: What is your biggest professional reward?
A: The number of hospital administrators who value my contribution and commitment to making the hospitalist program at their facilities the best they can become.
Q: When you aren’t working, what is important to you?
A: My family time and the balance of work and life have become the most important as I have matured professionally.
Q: What’s next professionally?
A: I am doing my ideal professional position.
Q: If you had to do it all over again, what career would you be doing right now?
A: If I wasn’t an executive in healthcare, I would have probably been a lawyer since I contemplated law school over my MBA.
Q: What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
A: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ book, “Coming Back Stronger.” As an avid sports fan, I appreciate what this athlete experienced personally and professionally, and still was able to pick himself back up from situations that many of us would have struggled to overcome. He is one of the biggest class acts in sports and the book just solidified that opinion. We can apply what he says to our own lives and make ourselves better in what we do as leaders.
Q: How many Apple products (phones, iPods, tablets, iTunes, etc.) do you interface with in a given week?
A: I am constantly on my iPad and use iTunes regularly during my weekly travels. My cellphone is an Android, so only two Apple products, but I use Apple countless times a week.
Richard Quinn is a freelance author in New Jersey.