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Improving Clinical Effectiveness by Engaging Physicians

  • Stefan Malin, MD, MS,
  • Elaine Cox, MD,
  • Anne McCallister, NP, and
  • Mara Nitu, MD, MBA
Published October 20, 2021
NEJM Catalyst Innovations in Care Delivery 2021; 11
Vol. 2 No. 11 | November 2021

Initiatives aimed at optimizing value and decreasing waste are traditionally carried out at a system level. Consequently, physician involvement may not be a key driver of the process, which can affect project outcomes and sustainability. To improve physician alignment with systemwide goals and create a culture of accountability, leaders at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health engaged medical directors by requiring them to carry out at least one clinical effectiveness project a year and present at one of the monthly meetings. The new position of medical director of clinical effectiveness helps oversee this. Within the first year, 26 new clinical effectiveness projects were started, and 75% of medical directors identified a project. This led to an estimated savings or revenue generation of more than $3 million. Another 25 projects were started during the second year, with an additional estimated savings or revenue generation of more than $13 million.