Taking the next step

May 2018 – Vol. 37, No. 4

Your elected officers and Boards of Directors (BODs), led by President Gavin Setzen, MD, have recently completed a five-month strategic planning process and approved a forward thinking, “next step” roadmap to drive our association and specialty forward over the next three to five years. The staff has constructed a budget that will fund the “stretch goals” necessary to successfully pursue our vision of being “The Global Leader in Optimizing Quality Ear, Nose, and Throat Patient Care” as it will exist in the future healthcare landscape. With the BOD’s now-approved budget, we can move forward as a united specialty with a lot of work to do. We will need to live up to our “We Are One: Otolaryngology United for ENT Patient Care” mantra by involving the diverse nature of our members across the globe and specialty societies to provide the care that our patients expect and deserve.

James C. Denneny III, MD

Over the next several months, we will be highlighting several programs and activities that will be integrated with existing programs, all designed with “Future of Otolaryngology” and “Physician Wellness and Resiliency” as a backdrop to everything we do. I would like to highlight several high-profile initiatives.

The Board approved the creation of a new website, ENThealth.org, dedicated exclusively to disseminating patient and consumer information and education materials fashioned specifically to benefit the diverse cultural and educational nature of the population we serve. The content of the new website will reflect the breadth and depth of clinical expertise across the entire range of our specialty. It will afford us the opportunity to work collaboratively with our members in all practice settings, all regions of the country, and all specialties, and with our colleagues in the Association of Otolaryngology Administrators (AOA) to create the materials that will make us the “trusted source” for our areas of expertise. We will likely be calling on many of you to help us with this critical project. An additional benefit for our members will be the opportunity to link their practice sites to the website with options to disseminate the knowledge to their patient populations.

Reg-entSM, our clinical data registry, has continued to progress in the onboarding of practices, the production of specialty-specific measures, and the ability to accommodate previously uncooperative EHR vendors. We will be rolling out a pilot program with a private insurance company that will not only establish clinical quality of participating members, but also totally offset any costs of registry participation. We are exploring partnerships that will allow us to develop an expanded capacity for clinical research and to expand the capabilities of the registry to include clinical pathways, research and reporting, and continued development of a specialty-wide set of measures that will allow all participants within the otolaryngology family to have reporting options. Our goal is to have these partnerships provide the funding to allow expansion and financial stability without relying on membership financing. The Board has voted to allow us to pursue these opportunities, and we hope to complete our review and choose a partner by the end of this year.

There has been a great deal of work done over the last five to 10 years to adapt simulation for usage in medical education and assessment. The progress made has created momentum and innovation that will result in an explosion of opportunity in the next several years. The excitement created by simulation activities at our Annual Meeting, including the Simulation Reception and Showcase, has been palpable. I recently attended a simulation summit sponsored by the American College of Surgeons at which representatives of the majority of surgical specialties presented activities going on within their specialties and simulation centers. There was significant interest and momentum among the group to define common platforms and goals to maximize resources and facilitate the collaborative sharing of successes in each field. One of the first orders of business will be to establish a catalog of what each specialty is doing across the spectrum of simulation for education and assessment, both individually and in the team care situation. We will be participating in that effort, which we hope will allow an expansion of options for otolaryngologists wanting to participate in simulation that may not be part of an accredited center at this time. We are also looking to incorporate more simulation activities into our own educational programs both on AcademyU® and at our Annual Meeting.

Stay tuned—this promises to be an interesting summer as we began taking the “next steps.”