Expert in Healthcare
Robert M. Wachter, MD is Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he directs the 60-physician Division of Hospital Medicine. Author of 250 articles and 6 books, he coined the term “hospitalist” in 1996 and is generally considered the “father” of the hospitalist field, the fastest growing specialty in the history of modern medicine. He is past president of the Society of Hospital Medicine, and is the immediate past chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine.
In the safety and quality arenas, he edits the US government’s two leading websites on safety (they receive about one million yearly visits) and has written two bestselling books on the subject, including Understanding Patient Safety, whose 2nd edition was published in 2012. In 2004, he received the John M. Eisenberg Award, the nation’s top honor in patient safety. For the past six years, Modern Healthcare magazine has named him one of the 50 most influential physician-executives in the U.S. He has served on the healthcare advisory boards of several companies, including Google. His blog, www.wachtersworld.org, is one of the nation’s most popular healthcare blogs.
The Great Physician of 2013: Embracing the New Without Discarding All of the Old
In this talk, I discuss the new competencies that physicians need to be successful: teamwork, systems thinking, willing to own up to their mistakes, information technology. While these are crucial, it is also important to hold onto some of what worked in the past: intense sense of personal responsibility, managing patients as individuals, and more. The talk is suitable for physicians and those trying to work more closely with them (hospitals, hospital associations, boards).
The Hospitalist Movement Today: Key Issues for the Next Decade
I coined the term ‘hospitalist’ in a 1996 New England Journal of Medicine article. The field went on to become the fastest growing specialty in the history of modern medicine. This talk reviews the history, projects where the field is heading, and places this field in the context of change and innovation, more generally, in healthcare.
The Quality, Safety and Value Movements: Why Transforming Healthcare is No Longer Elective
My most popular talk. In it, I review the brief history of the quality and safety movements, the new push for value (quality, safety, patient satisfaction divided by cost), and how all of these levers (accreditation, regulation, transparency, payment changes) are combining to create unprecedented pressure on caregivers and delivery organizations to change their ways of doing business. Rather than being depressed, audiences leave with a deep understanding of healthcare?s new landscape, and a roadmap (and some optimism) for success in this new world.
The First Decade of the Patient Safety Movement: Successes, Failures, Surprises and Epiphanies
The talk chronicles what is and is not working (regulation, information technology, culture change, balancing “no blame” with accountability, pay for performance, etc.) in our efforts to prevent medical mistakes.
Innovation in Healthcare: An Oxymoron? Or an Idea Whose Time Has (Finally) Come?
It is a cliche that healthcare is waiting for its disruptive innovation. New models of care, technologies, specialties, or something else perhaps that will lead to heretofore unheard of improvements in quality, safety, the patient’s experience, and efficiency. But innovation does not come through a lightning bolt or serendipity good organizations find ways to nurture it and make it a core part of their business. In this talk, I describe how they do this and leave audiences with new ways of thinking about the people, structures, and culture they need to nurture this secret ingredient behind performance improvement.